Pyongyang just got a ‘sexy’ gift: 150 pairs of hot-pink underwear.
Some problems travel well. Sometimes too well. Financial crashes have taught us that in some cases what starts as a very local economic problem quickly escalates and becomes a global crisis. Think Greece—or more recently Cyprus. And we know that terrorism also has a way of going global in unpredictable and dangerous ways.
But what about regions? Which continents are more prone to infect the rest of the world with their problems? Africa and Latin America’s woes, for example, remain mostly insulated. Of course, the mass emigration of Africans to Europe and Latin Americans to the United States is an example of how one continent’s problems spill over into another, but this contagion has had much less of an impact than the economic crisis in the U.S. or Europe, for example. Millions of people all over the world, and especially in Europe, are still paying the consequences for that financial earthquake.
The point is that the problems of some continents are more ‘systemic’ than others. This is to say that the agonies of some regions affect the entire world, no matter how far away they are. The question, then, is: Which of the five continents is bound to spread more unhappiness in the future?
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]
A statue of Dennis Rodman made for the former basketball star in North Korea, where Rodman recently traveled for the second time.
Rodman just finished a press conference in New York with Daniel Pinkston, Crisis Group’s North East Asia Deputy Project Director. Watch a recording of the conference here.
PYONGYANG — I’m standing outside the Egyptian Palace nightclub in Pyongyang’s Yanggakdo Hotel, a place that promises all the advantages of a combination bar, nightclub, sauna and massage service, geared toward the tired and terminally lonely (which, like all other services at the Yanggakdo, means “foreigners only”). The only problem? It’s nearly midnight, and the bar is firmly, implacably closed.
Welcome to North Korean nightlife.
Read more. [Image: Robert Foyle Hunwick]
We all do stupid things when we’re drunk, but among bad decisions, this one deserves special distinction: on the night of January 4, 1965, U.S. Army Sergeant Charles Robert Jenkins pounded 10 beers, deserted his infantry company at the edge of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, walked alone across a minefield, and defected to North Korea. He was thrown into a chilly, spartan house (he tried, unsuccessfully, to leave) and forced to study the works of the North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung for 11 hours every day. By 1972, he could recite Kim’s core principles by heart in Korean. That year, he was forcibly naturalized as a North Korean citizen. He went on to work as an English teacher, a translator, and an actor, under 24-hour surveillance and conditions of near-starvation.
Read more. [Image: John Cuneo]
"If we farm in the way the General tells us, we will become happy," she said and laughs.
As tourism from China increases, citizens of the Hermit Kingdom ask to be treated with more respect.
There’s a crisis brewing in North Korea that has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or six-party talks. Tuberculosis has long been recognized as one of the biggest public health problems in North Korea, but there is a disturbing new development: much of the TB in North Korea is resistant to regular antibiotics.
Read more. [Image: Kevin Frayer/AP]
For two hours and 11 minutes, North Korea’s lead negotiator, General Nam Il, stared at U.S. Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy, chain-smoking and sitting silently.
In August 1951, a little over a month into cease-fire negotiations to end the Korean War, talks inched forward at an agonizing pace. Hatred hung in the air like the general’s cigarette smoke.
Read more. [Image: AP]
[Images: Reuters; screenshot]
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