A customer enters a store attached to a cosmetics factory in Pyongyang. A modest amount of economic liberalisation has taken place in North Korea in recent years. (Photo: AFP/Ed Jones) Throughout the plant, masked workers in white overalls, gloves and hairnets operate machines producing shampoos, creams, cleansers and other products. Many are based on ginseng, a Korean root with a parsnip-like taste, with some packaging reminiscent of Western brands such as Pantene or Head and Shoulders. "Many people must prefer products that we make," Kim says. Ahead of his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, US President Donald Trump has claimed that if the isolated country gives up its nuclear weapons, it "could fast become one of the great economic powers anywhere in the world". The reality is both far more difficult and far more complicated than that - and the North is trying to get there on its own. At the ruling party's last congress Kim decried "the filthy wind of bourgeois … [Read more...] about North Korea seeks sweet smell of success ahead of summit
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U.S. envoy raises prospect of U.S. compromise in North Korea talksThe Saigon Times Daily U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he prepares to sign an Executive Order during a meeting with manufacturers in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2019 – PHOTO: REUTERS WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Washington is willing to discuss “many actions” to improve ties and entice Pyongyang to give up nuclear weapons, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea said on Thursday, but set out an extensive list of demands for the North, including a full disclosure of its weapons program. In a speech at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, envoy Stephen Biegun did not elaborate on what concessions the United States might make, but said the “corresponding measures” demanded by North Korea would be the subject of talks next week. Biegun will arrive in Seoul on Sunday for meetings with South Korean officials, before holding talks with North … [Read more...] about U.S. envoy raises prospect of U.S. compromise in North Korea talks
Trump says next summit with North Korea's Kim to come after November U.S. electionsThe Saigon Times Daily U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un meet at the start of their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018 – PHOTO: REUTERS WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be held after U.S. congressional elections on Nov. 6. Speaking to reporters as he flew to Iowa for a political rally, Trump said: “It’ll be after the midterms. I just can’t leave now.” Earlier on Tuesday, Trump told reporters that plans were being made for his second summit with Kim and that he thought “incredible” progress had been made in U.S. talks with the long-isolated North Asian country. He said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had very good talks with Kim over the weekend and that three or four locations were … [Read more...] about Trump says next summit with North Korea’s Kim to come after November U.S. elections
Donald Trump dangled the carrot of foreign investment in front of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their nuclear summit, but analysts say few will want to put money into one of the highest-risk business environments in the world. The U.S. president showed Kim a movie of bright lights, high-speed trains and soaring tower blocks - pitching a future that could be possible if Pyongyang gives up its weapons. Optimists say that with mineral wealth, cheap labour, and a helpful geographical location, the North has huge potential. But the history of overseas firms who have tried to set up operations in the isolated, impoverished country is a long and sorry one. Rules that can change on a whim, bills that are never paid, and the threat of expropriation hang over foreigners who step into the wildest of wild east investment destinations. For now, dozens of restrictions apply under the various sanctions regimes imposed on the North over its nuclear ambitions. Joint ventures are banned by the U.N. … [Read more...] about Invest in North Korea: money pit or golden opportunity?
High-ranking officials of the United States and North Korea met in New York late on Wednesday in the first of two days of talks about the future of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and a possible summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, a close aide of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, met for about 90 minutes over dinner and exited without providing any detailed remarks to reporters waiting outside. Pompeo would only say that the dinner “was great” and that the two men dined on “American beef.” It was not yet known whether the two men made any progress toward narrowing long-standing differences between Washington and Pyongyang that could end decades of hostile relations. Earlier in the day, the White House left open the possibility of a Trump-Kim summit on June 12 in Singapore, despite Trump’s cancellation of the meeting just days ago. As the dinner was … [Read more...] about High-level US-North Korea nuclear talks get underway in New York