Chinese Government Must Stop the Forced Repatriation

first_img Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke” Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Analysis & Opinion [imText1]Citizen’s Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees and Families of Prisoners of Korean War held a press conference on February 1, in front of the Chinese Embassy in Seoul. The statement the two organizations gave out this day urged for: 1. open apology by the Chinese government 2. Promise from the Chinese government to stop the forced repatriation of the North Korean defectors, and 3. South Korean government’s commitment to bring Mr. Han Man Taek and other five hundred POWs remaining in North Korea back home. The participants of the press conference tried to enter the Chinese embassy for personal dialogues with the Chinese ambassador. However, as were rejected at the gate, they protested by throwing eggs at the embassy and fought with the police. “We wished for at leas the remains of my father but of only half of his remains returned of which we buried in the national cemetery. We blame the government of South Korea for having failed to protect its own citizens,” cried out Lee Yeon Soon, daughter of Lee Kyu Man who was a former POW. Suh Young Seok, the former North Korean president of a new organization still in preparation called Group of Families of Prisoners of Korean War said, “U.S. has received at least the bones of the dead by paying North Korea, but what has South Korean government done?” and heavily criticized the government. About the newly starting organization, he explained, “We will request the government to set the priority bring POWs and their families remaining in North Korea or defected in China back to South Korea.” Suh further talked about his deceased father who was also a POW in North Korea, and added that he will also work or the recovering honor of the POWs. By Yang Jung A – 2005.02.02 6:26pm AvatarYang Jung A SHARE Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center center_img Analysis & Opinion RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter Chinese Government Must Stop the Forced Repatriation Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion last_img read more

“I’m Hungry Too”…Pitiful North Korean Cattle

first_img News News “I’m Hungry Too”…Pitiful North Korean Cattle AvatarLee Sung Jin Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak By Lee Sung Jin – 2008.06.17 5:36pm SHARE RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest [imText1]Helong, China — North Korea’s food shortage situation continues. These days, the people are absorbed in planting rice and the cows working farms near Tuman River also appear to be struggling.South Korea is also troubled with a different kind of food issue, which is the ongoing candle light protest due to the U.S. beef import problem. In 2001, Kim Jong Il received 200,000 head of cattle free of charge from Germany and gave it as a gift to the Party and military leaders. Seeing this disturbance in the South over mad cow disease, who’s to say Kim Jong Il will start demanding beef rather than rice aid in the future? In North Korea, having cattle to toil on the farms is still a top priority. Therefore, cattle cannot be privately owned and are officially considered “property of the State.” There were many cases during the famine of the 1990s where people who had succumbed to hunger secretly caught and ate the cattle; these people were either sentenced to death or dragged off to reeducation camps. In the general population, there are those who say their life ambition is to eat beef to their hearts’ content and then die.While North Korean people are unfortunate, North Korean cattle are truly pitiful. They cannot freely eat fodder when mobilized to endure intense labor on the farm, and their rib cages are clearly visible beneath the skin in their emaciated state. [imText2][imText3][imText4] Facebook Twitter News News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinalast_img read more

Exhibition on Thai North Korean Abductees Held

first_img North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China Exhibition on Thai North Korean Abductees Held SHARE By Daily NK – 2008.07.16 7:00pm Facebook Twitter [imText1]A photo exhibition of the abduction of Thai citizens by North Korea was held by the Association for the Rescue of North Korean Abductees (ARNKA) from the 13th to the 17th at Suan Dok Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. On the first day of the exhibition about a hundred citizens visited. Many students from the politics department of the Chiang Mai University who have taken lectures on the abduction issue participated in the exhibition. Photos showing the course of the abductions by North Korea, their purposes, and the abductees’ families’ activities are displayed. A letter that the brother of a Thai abductee, Anocha Panjoy, wrote to commemorate his sister’s birthday, July 12, moved audiences to tears. The president of ARNKA Tomoharu Ebihara explained that “Awareness of the abduction issue is not widespread in Thailand, and the Thai government doesn’t make a progress in negations on this issue with North Korea. I opened this photo exhibition commemorating Anocha Panjoy’s birthday in order to raise interest in the abduction issue in Thailand.”What follows is an excerpt from the letter written by the brother of Anocha Panjoy, a Thai abductee by North Korea;“Since you left home, we have all been waiting for you. In the three months after our father who had only waited for you for twenty seven years passed away, we saw your name, ‘Anocha,’ on TV, named as a Thai abductee dragged into North Korea. I rushed into the broadcasting company right after the news and cried out, ‘That woman is my sister!’ If only I could receive a letter from you and know how you are in North Korea. How longer am I to suffer from this pain that I have been bearing for the last thirty years….?”[imText2][imText3][imText4][imText5] AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] News center_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest News News last_img read more

Foreign Currency Controls Will Not Work

first_img News By Kim So Yeol – 2010.01.13 3:10pm News News News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China AvatarKim So Yeol SHAREcenter_img Facebook Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Following North Korea’s currency redenomination, domestic use of foreign currency was made illegal, and the state is now trying to enforce what can be called a “foreign exchange concentration system,” placing access to foreign currency entirely in its own hands. However, economists say that such a policy will only increase the value of foreign currency in North Korea over time, as Koh Il Dong, Senior Research Fellow at the Korea Development Institute (KDI), explained in his recent report, ‘Ripple effect and outlook for North Korea currency swap and par value unit change,’ published in KDI Review of the North Korean Economy. “Currently, North Korea is trying to utilize a strong foreign exchange concentration system,” Koh explains in the report, “However, since the domination of the dollar is already rampant, the question lies in whether such dirigisme will have any effect.”A “foreign exchange concentration system” is a system in which it is mandatorily required for local residents and corporations to sell to or deposit their foreign currency reserves in a bank or with the state, theoretically in order for the state to distribute foreign exchange reserves most efficiently.Koh explained that, under this system, “All foreign currency is mandatorily required to be exchanged for North Korean currency. Even foreign visitors are making payments for goods and services with North Korean currency now.”However, he explained, “The legal tender of North Korea, in which the people have already lost trust due to continuing high rates of inflation, has actually lost its status even more following this measure, the practical demand for foreign currency will have increased, and if North Korea continues to implement a strong foreign exchange concentration system, it will increase the ‘risk premium’ of foreign currency and increase its market price.” The vast majority of consumer goods sold in North Korea are imported from China. The market price in North Korea is arrived at from the market exchange rate coupled to the Chinese market price plus a profit margin. Therefore, a fluctuating exchange rate in future will be directly incorporated into the market price. Koh anticipates that the ultimate victims of the decree prohibiting foreign currency usage will be the nouveaux riche who have accumulated considerable wealth by colluding with the authorities. As a consequence, he expects strong resistance from this group, but, as he also points out, “If the regime turns a blind eye to them and allows them to possess or distribute hard currency, the dual structure of the North Korean economy will deepen. The disappointment and frustration of residents will be amplified in that case.” “Generally, currency redenomination can achieve a desirable result when prices are stabilized for some period of time by a reliable macroeconomic policy,” Koh concedes, however “the current economic situation of North Korea is somewhat different. Price uncertainty has already taken hold in the everyday lives of residents. If the North Korean regime fails to take on the distribution function of the market, there is a high possibility of more severe future instability in the North Korean economy.”Meanwhile, Koh stated that, based on the policies of the North Korean government from the currency swap until now, considerable resources are being expended to restrain market activity. Not only that, but, as The Daily NK has reported, “North Korea is providing monetary compensation to workers and farmers who conform to the existing system in the form of salaries and bonuses, to avoid the dissension of classes from within the system.” There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak Foreign Currency Controls Will Not Worklast_img read more

Meet the new boss – capitalist vocab enters through market

first_imgNewsEconomy Meet the new boss – capitalist vocab enters through market AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] By Daily NK – 2015.10.29 4:13pm SHARE News News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img Facebook Twitter As a result of North Korea’s buddingmarketization, there have been some linguistic changes. These days, it is notunusual to hear the capitalist-infused word ‘boss’ in the jangmadang(marketplace). In order to draw in customer’s attention and start the processof negotiating, the vendors refer to passersby as ‘bosses.’In a telephone conversation with the DailyNK on October 27th, an inside source from North Pyongan Province reported that it is quite commonplace for tradespeople to use the word ‘boss.’Two additional sources in South PyonganProvince corroborated this trend.   “If you travel to Sinuiju City’s Chae-haMarket, the vendors will call out to the passing customers from behind theirstands. They say things like, ‘Boss, nice to see you!’ The vendors often lookat the people’s clothing and appearance as a way to gauge whether they have alot of money or not,” she added.“Upon being called ‘boss,’ people areusually a bit embarrassed but it generally puts them in a good mood andinflates their ego. Calling them simply, ‘Hey Mister!’ or ‘Excuse me, Miss!’ isnot entirely bad, but it has no connotation of class, so there’s no opportunityfor the vendor to use flattery to their advantage.” It is estimated that the word ‘boss’ firstappeared in North Korea sometime in the 1990s. It has a bit of a differentmeaning from the Western or even South Korean meaning of the word. When SouthKorean vendors call their customers ‘boss’ in department stores, it has aslightly different nuance from the North Korean usage. For many years, privateownership was banned in North Korea (technically, it still is, but de factoprivate operations of all manner are ubiquitous) so companies were alsonon-existent. For that reason, the North Korean concept of ‘boss’ was largelyabsent from the lexicon. In the 1990s, the North Korean regime begana multi-agency push for foreign currency earning enterprises in order to makeup for the food shortage. This effort involved Party agencies, the military,and civic units engaged in competitive market activities to bring in foreigncash to prop up the regime. To keep up socialist appearances, these stateenterprises were all called ‘ABC Factory’ or ‘123 Operation.’   These enterprises were different from theChina-facing trade companies, which were called ‘ABC Trading Company.’ This wasthe first appearance of the word ‘company.’ At that point, employees of thesetrading companies began to be call their leaders ‘boss.’ Ordinary folks were awestruck by the suddennormalization of this vocabulary, once considered the antithesis of the tenetsof socialism. Production units in the North are overseen by Party members, referred to as ‘management secretary,’ or ‘under secretary,’ while the in-house leader issimple called, ‘manager.’ ‘Boss’ is entirely unambiguous in itsmeaning. It does not have any connotations reminiscent of the Korean Workers’Party, and it does not mean ‘manager.’ When people use it, they’re describing aperson who exists outside the world of cadres and factory managers; they’repointing to an idea that doesn’t exist in the socialist worldview. A ‘boss’ usually means a tradesperson whointerfaces with foreigners such as the Chinese to earn money. In the 1990s,many people starved due to lack of food and money to buy it. These ‘bosses’were the ones who eventually found a way to bring food and money into NorthKorea from China. Furthermore, the ‘bosses’ brought money making opportunitiesto people in desperate need. That’s why the word is infused with a sense ofrespect and loyalty. The word reflects the new status, jobs, andskills that people aspire to. Notably, unlike most aspects of life in NorthKorea, one’s ability to shoot up through the ranks is less contingent onbackground: even those with poor songbun (caste system designated byfamily background and political loyalty) still have a chance to become a‘boss.’ Moreover, those failing to gain entry intothe Workers’ Party–once the preferred method to secure relatively favorable living conditions, though such interest is known to be waning –havebeen known to gain the title, ‘boss.’ Even former prisoners of re-education camps comprise a robust portion of the ‘boss’ contingent. According to the source, qualifications to become a ‘boss’ boil down to connections, knowledge,and ability to mobilize enough financial resources to conduct business withChina. ‘Boss’ standing sits in a space of its own, shirking conventional methods–i.e., military,Party, and administration ties-to command wealth and power. “It all started when the heads of Chinesetrading companies began referring to any given North Korean counterpart as‘boss.’ I think becoming a ‘boss’ is the ultimate goal of many North Koreans,”the source said. So, then, it makes sense that an increasing numberof vendors in the marketplace are using the term to catch people’s’ attention. “It used to be the case that vendors wouldspeak rather informally to people, using a grammatical form meant to be usedwith friends. But now even 50-year-old merchants are speaking very respectfullyto 20-year-old customers. The language conventions have changed dramatically,”she explained.   “As the market continues to grow andcompetition heats up, we can predict that this kind of respectful attitudetowards customers to be an upwards trend. In the years ahead, I fullyanticipate that calling one’s customers ‘boss’ will be considered basic politeness.” There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) News US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once againlast_img read more

[Photos] North Korean military officials encourage soldiers to steal

first_img News [Photos] North Korean military officials encourage soldiers to steal Facebook Twitter A cornfield in North Hamgyong Province featuring guard posts (inside the yellow line). Image: Daily NK US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again As the corn harvest season approaches, low-ranking soldiers in North Korea are reportedly being encouraged by their superiors to steal food. Although the North Korean authorities have been emphasizing a “combat readiness” posture for “total war” with the US, the military instead appears far more focused on the acquisition of food.“Young soldiers tired of relentless hunger are frequently deserting the army to steal food. Even military officers are encouraging the practice,” a source in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on August 23. “The military officers are instructing their soldiers, exhausted after training, to eat corn in the fields because war is imminent. They are even threatening their soldiers, saying, ‘If you become malnourished despite permission to eat the corn, you will face difficulties.’”In the northern regions of North Korea, the corn harvest generally begins in early September. Residents have started guarding their farms and small agricultural holdings day and night. However, the young, stout and well-armed soldiers are still able to steal despite these measures.“A soldier who fails to acquire enough food during the autumn harvest is deemed a fool. The soldiers are stealing food using any method they can think off. In addition, as the military officers turn a blind eye toward these activities due to the lack of food within the army, even the collective farmlands and private fields are becoming the targets of food raids,” the source said.“Soldiers carrying big sacks of unripened corn can be frequently seen at the markets. They sell the corn at cheap prices to merchants who have made deals in advance,” a source in Ryanggang Province noted.It has become a widespread practice for North Korean soldiers to steal food from residents, as the state supply of food has not functioned properly since the period of mass starvation (referred to as the Arduous March in North Korea) in the mid and late 1990s.The situation remains even during periods of high intensity training arising from heightened levels of political tension. The meager army rations remain the same despite the intensified training, and the hungry soldiers are driven to steal food from local residents.“Because of this, many residents are criticizing the army, saying, ‘How will you fight a war with these thieves?’ Some are arguing that the military should first create an environment in which the soldiers do not have to steal in the first place,” the Ryanggang-based source noted. News AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) center_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest SHARE NewsEconomy By Daily NK – 2017.08.29 5:06pm Residents of a village near Sinuiju City in North Pyongan Province guard corn planted near the house. Image: Daily NKlast_img read more

Summer heat drives demand for cool goods

first_img News News Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April This is “NK Market Trends,” bringing youweekly updates on the North Korean economy. This week we sat down with reporterKang Mi Jin to discuss the latest trends; but first, let’s take a look at howthe jangmadang [market] did this past week. We’ll begin by providing a rundown on theprice of rice, the currency conversion rates, and the cost of other goods inNorth Korean markets. The price of 1 kg of rice was 5,200 KPW in Sinuiju and5,600 KPW in Hyesan. The USD was trading at 8,150KPW in Pyongyang, 8,300 KPW inSinuiju, and 8,480 KPW in Hyesan, which represents a slight rise compared tolast week’s rates. Moving along, the cost of 1 kg of corn kernels was 2,300 KPW inSinuiju and 2,450 in Hyesan. One kg of pork was selling at 13,000 KPW inPyongyang, 14,000 KPW in Sinuiju, and 14,500 KPW in Hyesan. Gasoline wastrading at 9,450 KPW per kg in Pyongyang and Sinuiju and at 8,450 KPW per kg inHyesan. Finally, 1 kg of diesel fuel was selling at 5,100 KPW in Pyongyang and5,200 KPW in Sinuiju and Hyesan. This has been a weekly rundown on NorthKorea’s latest market prices. 1. The weather in South Korea has beenextremely hot lately, so we’ve seen the sales of products like ice cream gothrough the roof. This makes me curious about the weather in the North thesedays. There’s word that despite the heat, activity in the markets is at a feverpitch. Can you tell us a little bit about that? I’d be happy to. As you know, the weather isheating up. It’s actually not that different from the weather in South Korearight now. An inside informant has told us that cold cucumber soup, ice, andkka-kka-oh [popsicles or ice cream bars] are all flying off the shelves as a result ofthe heat.   We’ve also learned that demand for springwater is up in certain regions, so traders with an eye for profit have moved inon that market as well, earning themselves a good return. As a matter of fact,when I was in North Korea I remember reading an article in Rodong Sinmun aboutcountries that were suffering from water shortages. I recall thinking how grimit must be to lack something as basic as water. These were people who couldbarely afford rice–how could they have the money to buy water? YangkangProvince, where I lived, always had plenty of spring water sources, so we neverhad to worry about that.   2. It has crossed my mind that as summerkeeps heating up, things must be getting harder for the residents. Due toglobal warming, the weather has been getting hotter and hotter in South Korea.Even so, we’ve had energy surpluses that allow us to use things like airconditioners and fans to beat the heat. But energy is hard to come by in NorthKorea, so I was wondering how North Koreans are coping with the heat. Well, for starters, we can definitely see adifference in weather across different regions. In Yangkang Province, where Iused to live, there is a radical difference in temperature between the nightand day. It is stifling hot during the day, but it cools down at night when thecool mountain winds come blowing down. So, at least in Yangkang Province, therewere plenty of days when we never really needed a fan. But this was largely dueto our mountainous geography. The cities and remote, flat areas are an animalof a different nature. In those places, the best way to bring down yourtemperature is to drink ice water or eat cold cucumber soup and kka-kka-oh. Toprovide the kka-kka-oh sellers with the ice they need, we have seen theappearance of traders selling ice in bulk. 3. I’ve never heard about “kka-kka-oh”before. We don’t have anything like that in Korea. Would you mind describingthat for me? I guess in Korea, you’d just call it an icecream bar or popsicle. In North Korea, we call it ice cream when you put it ina cup and eat it with a spoon. We call it kka-kka-oh when you hold it in yourhand and lick it. The ingredients for kka-kka-oh include milk or a bit ofsugar, water, saccharin, and other things that vary by recipe and region.   4. You said earlier that besides kka-kka-ohpeople also buy and eat cold cucumber soup to beat the heat. Has this demandincrease had an influence on the cost of cucumbers? Yes, that’s a good point. And yoursuspicions are correct; the price of cucumbers has gone up recently. However,cucumbers are not really in season right now. Most of the cucumbers on themarket are either grown in greenhouses or imported in from China. Therefore theprice has obviously risen. Today cucumbers are trading at approximately 3500KPW per kg in the Hyesan market. So residents are responding to the price riseby chopping up just a small amount of cucumber to put in a large amount of icewater to make the cold cucumber soup for sale. Around this time, we see a lot of farmersusing greenhouses and outside farms to try and produce as many cucumbers aspossible. Around the beginning of summer, you see people trying to sell theirstock before the large scale farms introduce their cucumbers into the marketand it gets more competitive.   Because of the price increase, lots ofpeople are trying their hand at cultivating cucumbers. But those that makehalf-hearted attempts to grow it aren’t seeing good returns, according to aninside informant. When I was living in North Korea, I also gave it a shot, butI met with failure, even getting robbed on one occasion. I quit after just afew seasons. It’s preferable to simply grow them at home, planting the seedsbefore others do so and just eating what you get. On the other hand, in the jangmadang,cucumbers are selling quite well. They are either smuggled in across the borderor brought in through customs. As you know, wide-scale refrigerationinfrastructure is virtually non-existent in North Korea, so there is noguarantee that goods can be preserved for long. So residents have come up withclever ways to preserve fruits and veggies. If you put them in a sealed plasticbag and then insert that into a water bottle they can last for a while. If youneed to sell them sooner, you can spend all night long stuffing the cucumbersyou want to sell into a water bottle. Then they will be fresh when you go outto sell them the next day. 5. A bit earlier you remarked that someregions have ample sources of spring water, and that some residents are makinga nice profit off selling water. Can you tell us a little more about thatspecifically? Yes, according to an inside source,residents from the following regions are getting some economic benefits fromtheir local spring water sources: Gowon County and Dancheon in South HamkyungProvince; Suncheon, Pyongsong, and Gal-li in South Pyongan Province, amongothers. In Dancheon and Gowon, there are a lot of delayed trains due to poweroutages. The passengers and operators of these trains make good customers forwater and ice vendors. In that kind of situation, the vendors alsoride the trains in order to sell to people from other regions. Last year, onePyongsong vendor rode the train to Dancheon Station, where a power delaystalled a train for four days and three nights. The vendors were in a mini warto supply all the thirsty passengers. One resident said he got his whole familyin on the operation, asking some people to stay and sell while the others ranback and forth to replenish the stocks. In those short but furious 3-4 days,the resident earned as much as he normally would in a month. Passengers ridingin the trains also cool down by dabbing their head and upper body with ice orspring water.  To get everything ready for such sales, the vendors have towork all night carrying the spring water to the station. Furthermore, Suncheon is known as a coalproducing region so its hard to come by spring water around there. So people inthat area have no choice but to buy and drink the water that traders run aroundselling or peddle to pedestrians walking by. In Suncheon, a bottle of water usually goesfor about 2000 KPW, which is extremely high compared to mountainous regions in Yangkang Province. But it Suncheon they have no other choice. According to onedefector from Suncheon, traders in the region have their best sales pushingwater during the summer. All they have to do is collect the water for free andbring it out to sell. That’s why even though transporting the water over longdistances can be back breaking work, a lot of residents are stepping up to theplate. 6. We know that power shortages are acritical problem in North Korea. Given that, how do ice vendors maintain theirproduct in the hot summer sun? It wouldn’t be a conversation abouteconomic difficulty if we didn’t bring up electricity shortages. As you know,electricity is not always available. That’s why when electricity does flow,traders do their best to freeze as much water as possible. These days,residents are making the best of a bad situation by cooperating with oneanother. In the past only those with a freezer wereable to sell ice. But these days, those houses produce ice full time andpartner up with full time traders in order to optimize efficiency. In this fashion,they’re able to work together and maximize output even when when theelectricity goes out. When the electricity isn’t flowing, someice producers will use their personal generators to keep production going. Butthe generators are limited by the amount of fuel, so that can be a problem. Ihave a friend whose husband is a smuggler. There’s a spot in the river betweenHyesan and the Chinese city of Jangbaekhyeon that’s ideal for trading smuggledgoods. It’s technically illegal but more or less tolerated. So when electricitygoes out for a day or two straight, he calls up his suppliers in China andorders one of two things. He can either get a giant chunk of ice or he can getpremade kka-kka-oh packaged in ice chests. Failing the generators and the smugglers,it can be difficult to get ice sometimes. 7. We haven’t gotten word of North Koreanauthorities cracking down on the jangmadang lately, so I assume that means thattraders are more or less operating freely these days? Yes, right now we’re at the peak of thespring hardship period. The authorities seem to recognize that if they start toregulate and crackdown on the markets before the middle of June or before thebeginning of potato season, people will have a very tough time making a living.This hardship would be reflected in the residents’ attitude towards the state,which would undoubtedly sour. To avoid causing further resentment, theauthorities are cutting the residents some slack as of now. The residents haverecently been mobilized to do extra work for no money for the benefit of thestate, so they really just want to be left alone. Many of them wish that thestate would direct electricity to ordinary homes instead of sending it tobuildings idolizing Kim Jong Un. If they get more power, they will be able tosell more things like kka-kka-oh in the summer season and make a living. News Facebook Twitter By Daily NK – 2015.06.05 4:02pm RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China SHARE Summer heat drives demand for cool goods Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store Newslast_img read more

CIBC announces sub advisor changes

“The experienced investment teams at American Century will add diversification of market capitalization and investment style to these investment pools and funds,” said Steve Geist, president of CIBC Asset Management, in a release. Imperial U.S. Equity Pool American Century will continue to serve as a portfolio sub-advisor for components of the Imperial U.S. Equity Pool, with an increased allocation to both the U.S. all-cap growth and U.S. all-cap value components of the Pool.CIBC Global Asset Management Inc., Metropolitan West Capital Management, LLC, Aletheia Research and Management, Inc. and Fiduciary Management Inc. will continue to serve as portfolio sub-advisors for other components of the pool. Imperial Overseas Equity Pool American Century has been appointed as an additional portfolio sub-advisor for the Imperial Overseas Equity Pool, managing the international all-cap growth component of the Pool. Causeway Capital Management LLC, Pictet Asset Management Limited and Pyramis Global Advisors, LLC will continue to serve as portfolio sub-advisors for other components of the pool. Imperial International Equity Pool American Century has been appointed as an additional portfolio sub-advisor for the Imperial International Equity Pool, managing the international all-cap growth component of the Pool. Causeway Capital Management LLC, CIBC Global Asset Management Inc., Pictet Asset Management Limited and Pyramis Global Advisors, LLC will continue to serve as portfolio sub-advisors for other components of the pool. Renaissance Canadian Balanced Fund and CIBC Balanced Fund American Century has been appointed as a portfolio sub-advisor for the Renaissance Canadian Balanced Fund and CIBC Balanced Fund, managing the global component of the funds. CIBC Global Asset Management Inc. will continue to serve as portfolio sub-advisor for the domestic portion of the funds. All changes take effect July 1. IE Staff CIBC Asset Management Inc. Thursday announced portfolio sub-advisor changes. As part of the changes, American Century Investment Management, Inc. will be added as a sub-advisor to certain Imperial pools and funds. Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., the firm manages approximately $121 billion in assets. In August 2011, CIBC acquired a minority ownership position in American Century. Keywords Fund managersCompanies CIBC Asset Management Share this article and your comments with peers on social media NEO, Invesco launch four index PTFs Franklin Templeton renames funds with new managers Change to Counsel Global Small Cap Fund Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Related news read more

SIFMA head returning to JPMorgan

Ryan will depart SIFMA on February 23. In the meantime, SIFMA’s executive committee has appointed Kenneth Bentsen, Jr., executive vice president, public policy and advocacy, as acting president and CEO (effective, Feb. 23), while the board begins a search for a permanent replacement. “More than at any time in our history, regulatory strategy and policies around the world are affecting our business and how we serve clients. Tim has both a deep knowledge of these policies and the government representatives formulating them, and also knows our businesses and executives extremely well from his 16 years at the firm,” said Matt Zames, co-chief operating officer for JPMorgan Chase. CI GAM names its first-ever head of investment management Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Related news Keywords AppointmentsCompanies Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association PenderFund names new SVP for investments TD getting new head of private wealth, financial planning Share this article and your comments with peers on social media The head of the U.S. securities industry lobbyist, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), is heading back to JPMorgan Chase and Co. JPMorgan announced Tuesday that Tim Ryan, SIFMA’s CEO since 2009, is to re-join the firm as global head of regulatory strategy and policy. Before heading to SIFMA, Ryan was vice chairman of investment banking for financial institutions and governments at JPMorgan. Before that, he was director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, a partner in a Washington, D.C. law firm, and solicitor of labor at the U.S. Department of Labor. read more

A contrarian on resource stocks

Keywords Fund managers,  Resources stocksCompanies Manulife Asset Management NEO, Invesco launch four index PTFs Sonita Horvitch Change to Counsel Global Small Cap Fund Franklin Templeton renames funds with new managers Related news Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Investors have been emphasizing companies that generate strong cash flow and pay high dividends, says Arbuthnot, who is based in Boston. “At some point, market sentiment will change, as the defensive pendulum has swung too far.” Arbuthnot considers that quality junior natural-resource companies “are now substantially undervalued by our analysis, even based on the most conservative assumptions about production prospects and commodity prices.” A key question, says Arbuthnot, is how close the juniors are to commercializing their resources? There are “two main milestones” — permits and financing. “Many of the long-standing small-cap resource holdings in my global portfolio are in the final stages of obtaining the necessary approvals and permits.” News about this progress should, he says, be a catalyst for boosting valuations. Arbuthnot is the lead portfolio manager for the global opportunities strategy and a co-manager for the emerging-markets strategy at the U.S. division of Manulife Asset Management. His mandates include Manulife Global Opportunities Balanced Fund and Manulife Global Opportunities Class Fund. Arbuthnot’s approach to stock selection is two-pronged. He adopts a value style in developed markets and more of a growth at a reasonable price (GARP) style in emerging markets. Manulife Global Opportunities has 66 holdings, with the top 10 names accounting for 33% of the fund’s assets under management (AUM). The biggest geographic weightings include its 31% in U.S.-based companies and 15.4% in Canada, mainly natural-resource companies. Europe constitutes 20%, with France 6.2% and Italy 5.5%, as the largest individual country weightings. Arbuthnot’s European focus is on well placed media companies. “They are reducing their costs, given the weak economy and the dramatic fall-off in advertising and should do well as Europe recovers.” An example is France’s Societé Télévision Française 1, a top-10 holding. Emerging markets represent 27% of the AUM of Manulife Global Opportunities Fund . The biggest weightings are India at 8.2% and Brazil at 6.2%. Arbuthnot continues to champion India. “The government is introducing far-reaching reforms to attract more foreign investment. As well, the productivity of its work force is increasing.” By contrast, he has been selling down his holdings in Brazil. “I am cautious, given the structural challenges facing the country and the question mark over its productivity.” A long-standing Brazilian holding that remains in Arbuthnot’s top 10 holdings is OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações SA. “The market has excessively punished this stock for a short-term problem,” he says. This major offshore oil and gas producer missed its 2012 production targets for its first two wells, Arbuthnot adds. This fall, OGX will be receiving two tailor-made floating production, storage and offloading vessels to facilitate its offshore operations, Arbuthnot says. “This should ramp up its production fairly quickly.” Another significant and long-standing energy holding that Arbuthnot says has been unfairly treated by the market is Ivanhoe Energy Inc. (TSX:IE) The company has two heavy-oil projects, one in Alberta and the other in Ecuador. “Ivanhoe is close to receiving regulatory approval from the Alberta government for its Tamarack project.” The review process for Tamarack began in the fourth quarter of 2010, so this is an important step forward, says Arbuthnot. “This approval will allow Ivanhoe to bring in a joint-venture partner and begin construction.” Ivanhoe, he says, will be installing its proprietary Heavy-to-Light (HTL) oil technology as part of the Tamarack project to improve the project’s economics by avoiding the heavy-oil discount. Ivanhoe is looking to “commercialize” this HTL technology and will be moving forward on its project in Ecuador by mid-year. “In all, the company has a solid balance sheet and is about to cross the finish line.” This, he adds, should help with market recognition of its value. In the energy sector, Arbuthnot sold two stocks, “which had done well.” They are Canada’s Progress Energy Resources Corp., which was taken out by Malaysian national oil company PETRONAS, and Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE:DNR) “The risk-reward on Denbury was no longer that attractive, when compared to other companies in our portfolio and potential investments.” In the materials sector, Arbuthnot points to his holding in Canadian potash-project developer Karnalyte Resources Inc. (TSX:KRN) (as yet another example of a junior natural-resources company that is “close to the finish line.” The company has received the nod for its project from the Saskatchewan government. It has also obtained a $45-million investment plus a 20-year purchasing agreement from an Indian fertilizer company. In India, Arbuthnot’s focus is on financial and consumer companies. A “leading diversified banking and financial-services group” in the portfolio is ICICI Bank Ltd., which trades on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:IBN). “This stock is performing well.” A consumer-products stock in the fund that is a dominant brand in India and that exemplifies his consumer holdings is Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd. This company, listed in India, is part of the U.S.-based multinational, Colgate-Palmolive Co. “Colgate-Palmolive (India) is a direct play on the increasing affluence of the emerging-market consumer,” says Arbuthnot. An “indirect play” in the portfolio is the Anglo-Dutch consumer staples giant Unilever PLC. This global company, he says, has an exceptionally high exposure to emerging markets. The parent’s stock “trades at a discount” to the company’s listed affiliate in Indonesia, PT Unilever Indonesia, and to its listed Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Unilever Ltd., “which trade at higher multiples.” A recent addition to the portfolio as a play on the health-conscious U.S. and Canadian consumer is Annie’s Inc. (NYSE:BNNY) This is a natural and organic food company with products ranging from packaged macaroni and cheese to frozen pizzas. Arbuthnot bought the stock on a pullback after Annie’s initiated a voluntary recall of its organic pizzas, earlier this year in the U.S. There is, says Arbuthnot, a rising demand for natural and organic foods on both sides of the border; “an important development is that regular supermarkets are incorporating more of these products into their offerings.” Chris Arbuthnot, senior managing director at Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC, is optimistic about the prospects for select junior energy and materials companies, even though the equity market has shunned these stocks over the past two years. A global manager with no sector or market-capitalization constraints, Arbuthnot says that in the energy and materials sectors his focus has been on advanced “project” or junior companies. These do not, as yet, have any production or generate cash flow, but have good assets and good growth prospects, he says. He acknowledges that these companies do carry a higher risk. 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