North Korea

10:49am

Fri July 26, 2013
Planet Money

Stamps, Jeans, Beer: What Americans Want From North Korea

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:01 am

Can I buy a pair of jeans made in North Korea?
Office of Foreign Assets Control

U.S. sanctions mean that any citizen or business wanting to buy stuff from North Korea has to send a letter to the U.S. government asking for special permission. A few months back, we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, asking for those letters.

Our request was granted: We recently received a packet of 18 letters from Americans who wanted to do business with the most isolated nation on the planet. We've posted all of the letters online.

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10:18am

Fri July 26, 2013
The Two-Way

North Korea Still Gets Propaganda Mileage Out Of U.S. Spy Ship

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 11:03 am

North Korea's most famous museum exhibit, the captured American spy ship USS Pueblo, has been painted and polished for display as part of Saturday's "Victory Day" ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended hostilities in the Korean War.

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10:15am

Sat July 20, 2013
Parallels

The Spanish Aristocrat Who Works For North Korea

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:51 pm

Spanish aristocrat Alejandro Cao de Benos is believed to be the only foreigner working for the North Korean government. He divides his time between North Korea and Europe, where he organizes university conferences on North Korean ideology. He's shown here with a North Korean military officer in Panmunjon, on the border with South Korea.
Courtesy of Alejandro Cao de Benos

The sun-soaked Spanish Riviera isn't where you'd expect to find a faithful foot soldier of North Korea. But that's exactly what Alejandro Cao de Benos calls himself.

Cao de Benos, 38, is believed to be the only Westerner ever employed by the North Korean government. He's a Spanish aristocrat, born to a family of landed gentry in northeast Spain, where he agreed to meet NPR for an interview one recent afternoon.

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9:21am

Thu July 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Panama Charges North Korean Ship's Crew

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:57 am

View of what seems to be weapon parts aboard a North Korean-flagged ship on Tuesday.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

The crew of a North Korean ship carrying a clandestine cargo of Cold War-era weapons from Cuba has been charged with endangering public security by Panamanian authorities, who seized the vessel earlier this week.

The North Korean vessel en route from Cuba was seized as it attempted to transit the Panama Canal.

According to the BBC:

"[Panamanian] Prosecutor Javier Caraballo accused the 35 crew members of endangering public security by illegally transporting war material.

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2:58am

Thu July 18, 2013
NPR Story

Panama Searches Impounded North Korean Cargo Ship

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

As of this morning, Panama still doesn't know quite what to do with that North Korean cargo ship its impounded. The ship was going through the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to North Korea. And when Panamanian authorities looked inside under thousands of bags of Cuban sugar, they found parts for missiles, jets and radar systems.

Here to help sort out this discovery is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.

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