North Korea

3:06pm

Thu August 11, 2011
Planet Money

Drug Dealing, Counterfeiting, Smuggling: How North Korea Makes Money

An idle North Korean factory, seen from the Chinese border.
AFP Getty Images

North Korea used to be an industrial powerhouse. Not anymore. Today, the country can't feed its own people. Its cities go dark every night for lack of electricity.

Yet helplessness wasn't the original plan. The original plan for the country's economy had a name. It was called "juche," or self-reliance. The idea was that all North Korean problems should be solved by North Koreans.

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12:21pm

Sat January 8, 2011
Asia

Hackers Celebrate Kim Jong-Un's B-Day With Video

A website and Twitter account believed to be North Korea's state-sanctioned channels of communication have been hacked to show derogatory content on the birthday of North Korea's heir apparent.

A string of messages appeared on North Korea's Twitter account, calling North Koreans to rise up against leader Kim Jong-Il and his son, whom it referred to as the "sworn enemy."

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4:40am

Tue November 30, 2010
Asia

WikiLeaks: China Is Frustrated With North Korea

Among the latest WikiLeaks documents are memos that reveal growing tensions and frustrations between China and its ally North Korea. The leaked U.S. diplomatic cables suggest that in the event North Korea collapses, Beijing would be willing to accept a unified Korea under the South's control.

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2:00am

Wed November 24, 2010
Asia

Why Now For North Korea's Provocation?

North Korea's attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong comes during a difficult period for the isolated regime in Pyongyang.

It is going through a process of political succession, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il seeking to ensure that his son Kim Jong Un is the country's next leader. At the same time, North Korea is facing new food shortages. In the past, weakness and uncertainty have sparked provocations like the Nov. 23 attack.

A Pre-Emptive Strike?

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10:01pm

Tue November 23, 2010
Asia

South Korea On High Alert Following Attack

China resisted U.S. pressure to condemn North Korea on Wednesday, a day after Pyongyang shelled a South Korea-held island, killing four people and ratcheting tensions on the peninsula to new highs.

Late Wednesday, China issued its first official statement, which was notable for its failure to condemn or even criticize North Korea. Instead, a foreign ministry spokesman urged both Koreas to show calm and restraint, and to engage in talks.

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