Starving North Koreans question missile tests: ‘Where did the money come from?’
|| The Telegraph UK
“North Korean state media continues to celebrate the launch of two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and the nation’s status as a “global rocket power”, although there are growing suggestions that ordinary people are less enthusiastic about the regime’s achievements.
Quoting its network of covert contributors within North Korea, who communicate via mobile phone, the Seoul-based DailyNK news site has reported that ordinary citizens are asking – albeit quietly – how Kim Jong-un can afford missiles but continue to ration their food.
“Following the news that the regime launched missiles twice in July, locals are criticising the regime, asking, ‘Where did it get the money?’ “, a source in North Pyongan Province told DailyNK.
“They are feeling increasingly disillusioned by the Kim Jong-un regime, which spends more money on developing missiles than improving their livelihoods.
“Everyone is aware that whenever the regime launches a missile, economic sanctions will follow”, the source added. “There’s nothing to celebrate for the ordinary citizens.”
“In the beginning, the residents were proud of the regime openly opposing the US with nuclear development and missiles, but these days, anti-US sentiment has weakened while respect for the regime has plummeted.”
“People are still starving and there are homeless orphans on the streets, so naturally the residents are resentful about having to celebrate a missile launch”, another source told DailyNK, adding that there is also deepening resentment at the “inminban”, or local politically motivated neighbourhood watch units, increasing mandatory payments from residents.
Officials claim the payments are for local construction projects, but it is widely understood that they are spent on the nuclear and missile programmes.”
….Continue reading more @ Telegraph UK
Chinese Global Times sounds a warning for Pyongyang over its plans to fire missiles near Guam
“China should remain neutral if North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday, sounding a warning for Pyongyang over its plans to fire missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
The comments from the influential Global Times came after U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea again on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.
Asian equity markets sank again on Friday and European stocks looked set for their worst week this year because of the tensions.
“This situation is beginning to develop into this generation’s Cuban Missile crisis moment,” ING’s chief Asia economist Robert Carnell said in a research note. “While the U.S. president insists on ramping up the war of words, there is a decreasing chance of any diplomatic solution.”
China, North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis. Beijing has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behavior from South Korea and the United States, such as military drills, that it sees as escalating tensions.
“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” the Global Times, which is widely read but does not represent government policy, said in an editorial.
“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” it said.”
….Continue reading more @ CNBC