Arirang Festival Opens In North Korea, With A Small Twist

Arirang Festival 2013b
They don't really do it small for the annual Arirang Festival in Pyongyang, so the "small twist" in the headline is somewhat of a misnomer. Nonetheless, this year's Arirang -- a.k.a. the Mass Games -- that opened on Monday featured something new -- a slight, possibly noteworthy change for the tea leaf readers out there -- as one attendee told NK News.

Anonymous’s Attempt To Hack North Korea Failed Sadly

Anonymous tries to hack North Korea
North Korea Tech and Tech in Asia have a wonderful story about the perils of hacking -- you can end up hooking the wrong fish. On June 25 -- the anniversary of the Korean War -- affiliates of Anonymous sought to take down North Korea websites, but wound up spraying fire at friends. "Confusion at start of attack," writes North Korea Tech:

Dennis Rodman And Kim Jong-un’s Friendship Put To The Test Over American Detainee

Dennis Rodman
Kenneth Bae, a Korean American sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for crimes against the state, will not be used as a bargaining chip, says the DPRK. “Some media of the U.S. said that the DPRK tried to use Bae’s case as a political bargaining chip. This is ridiculous and [a] wrong guess,” Korean Central News Agency reported, via Washington Post. But would the regime, you know, release him, just because, pretty please, if Dennis Rodman asked?

Gourmet Coffee Has Landed In Pyongyang

Third-wave coffeeshop in Pyongyang, North Korea
We know our friend Andray Abrahamian to be both a beer and coffee snob, so who better than he to discover an unnamed cafe in Pyongyang, next to the Pyongyang Hotel View Restaurant, that might well be North Korea’s first “third-wave coffeeshop.” (As Dray describes it: “For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ‘third wave’... Read more »

BBC Actually Aired This? John Sweeney’s Unethical, Horrible North Korea Hack Job

John Sweeney on his North Korea trip
Just about anyone not holding a select diplomatic or South Korean passport can travel to North Korea. All it takes is money, which you give to a tour agency. They’ll even take you to the countryside if that’s what you’re after. It’s only the hucksters who try to dress up their North Korean trip as... Read more »

Here’s North Korean Children Swearing Their Lives To Kim Jong-un

North Korean children swearing their lives for Kim Jong-un
Indoctrination sucks, and if you needed proof, watch this clip from North Korean TV showing a reported 18,423 children at a medal ceremony in Pyongyang paying obeisance to their country and Kim Jong-un. According to the Youku video description, the highest honors are reserved for those standing in the front rows: they're the ones who have volunteered to become suicide bombers in case of a war with the US.