North Periscope, Five


TOKYO (majirox news) – Majirox News brings you short items about North Korea that have appeared in Japanese or Korean media but not been widely picked up in Western media.

Your Gucci is Fake, Commissar – With the approach of the Dear Leader’s 69th birthday last week, North Korean trade officials were seen in the markets at Dandong, a Chinese border city with North Korea, buying up Gucci bags and purses.

“Usually they are trying to trade or sell North Korean coal for rice or electronics,” a local Chinese merchant told a Japanese source. “But now they are running around trying to buy up bags and luxury items.” Gucci bags and other brand name foreign goods are popular presents for Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s leader, to hand out to Communist party functionaries during his birthday celebrations.”

The North Koreans are all over Wall Street, the nickname of Dandong market place. They’re buying up all the Gucci’s in sight. I wonder if they know everything sold there is fake?” mused the merchant. Happy birthday commissar, by the way, the authentic Gucci bag the Great Leader gave your wife is a Chinese fake.

Leila, meet Kim Jong Chul – Even Communists have to get down sometimes. Singapore’s paparazzi had a snap fest recently shooting pics of Kim Jong Chul, the rarely seen middle son of North Korea’s leader at an Eric Clapton concert in Singapore. Aired on South Korean TV, Jong Chu was clad in a T shirt and jeans, surrounded by a entourage of security men and curvaceous young women.

“He seemed to really enjoy it,” said one photographer contacted by Korean TV, “I hear that he is a fanatical Clapton fan and that this isn’t the first concert he’s slipped out of North Korea to see.”

While Jong Chul was shaking to Leila, North Korea embassy officials worldwide were on a begging mission to every capital in the world. North Korea missions abroad are desperately seeking food aid to stave off famine as North Korea finds itself more than one million tons short of food it need for its people. Meanwhile, the son of North Korea’s leader is partying hard with groupies in Singapore. Does anyone in North Korea know French history? Have they heard of the expression “Let them eat cake?”

Tunnel to Somewhere – China has two provinces bordering North Korea, is Shenyang. The Dailian Peninsula of Shenyang sticks out into the Yellow Sea and is 106 kilometers by sea from the tip of populous Shandung province.

According to Japanese sources in Beijing, the Chinese government has decided to build an undersea tunnel across this gap. It would cut several days off the trip from Northeast China to its central provinces and firmly seal North Korea’s economy into China’s.

“There’s nothing impossible about it,” says a Japanese source who is knowledgeable about the project. “It’s well within their current capabilities. Japan’s Seikan tunnel, if you include the portions that are not undersea, is 53.9 Km long. The route is dotted with islands, and I doubt the Chinese would have to dig more than 20 Km from island to island.”

Whether the project will be funded or not is another question, but it’s the type of big project Chinese leaders love. North Korea is now reduced to bartering precious natural resources such as coal and gold for Chinese rice, machinery and electronics. This type of tunnel, which connects China’s most resource hungry areas with a direct route from North Korea, would be the final step of pulling North Korea into an almost exclusive Chinese orbit.

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