Pyongyang Gas Stations Begin to Close and Limit Services Due to Fuel Shortage

It looks like China at least in the short term has cut the amount of fuel being imported into North Korea. The real question is if this is all just for short term show or is China really committed to enforcing fuel sanctions on the Kim regime?:

Car users in Pyongyang were scrambling Friday to fill up their tanks as gas stations began limiting services or even closing amid concerns of a spreading shortage.

A sign outside one station in the North Korean capital said sales were being restricted to diplomats or vehicles used by international organizations, while others were closed or turning away local residents. Lines at other stations were much longer than usual and prices appeared to be rising significantly.

The cause of the restrictions or how long they might last were not immediately known.

North Korea relies heavily on China for its fuel supply and Beijing has reportedly been tightening its enforcement of international sanctions aimed at getting Pyongyang to abandon its development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Korean-American Woman Sues Ex-Boyfriend for Secretly Giving Her Birth Control Pills

Just in case anyone has any ideas about trying something like this you may want to read below because you can be held legally accountable:

A Korean-American woman is suing her ex-boyfriend for secretly dosing her with birth control pills.

The woman, 36, surnamed Hyo, filed a compensation suit for $5 million to her American ex-boyfriend, a neuroradiology doctor, for allegedly feeding her “Plan B One-Step” without her knowledge, according to The New York Post.

Hyo confronted her ex-boyfriend last May when she found an empty birth control pill box inside a trash bin.

“I knew you would not consent to taking birth control pills voluntarily, so I resorted to using this method,” the man allegedly confessed after admitting that he had been dissolving the pills in her juice.

The two broke up after the incident.

Plan B One Step is a birth control pill that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex and can be bought only with a doctor-signed prescription.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: Foreigners Only Mega-Casino Opens In South Korea

S. Korea's first casino resort opens

Pictured is the casino of Paradise City, South Korea’s first casino and hotel complex, which opened in Yeongjongdo, close to Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on April 20, 2017. The construction of the mega-scale foreigners-only casino resort, worth 1.3 trillion won (US$1.14 billion), kicked off in late 2011 on a 300,000-square-meter lot. (Yonhap)

Danish Authorities Uphold Prosecutor’s Decision to Extradite Chung Yoo-ra Back to South Korea

It looks like Chung Yoo-ra is running out of legal options in Denmark:

A Danish court on Wednesday upheld prosecutors’ decision to extradite Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of impeached former President Park Geun-hye’s friend at the center of a bribery scandal.

But it remains uncertain whether or when Chung will be extradited to Seoul, as she appealed again to a higher court.

Last month, the local prosecutors’ office decided to send Chung, the only daughter of Choi Soon-sil, back to Korea to face an investigation. But she filed an appeal.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

With former President Park impeached and sitting in jail, Chung Yoo-ra is basically just a side show now.

US and South Korea Complete Land Transfer In Preparation for Deployment of THAAD

According to the article the conclusion of the land transfer to USFK allows the US military to expedite preparations to deploy the THAAD missile defense system to the site:

Heavy equipment from USFK enters a THAAD deployment site in Seongju, southeast South Korea, on April 20, 2017. Some local residents protested the move. (Yonhap)

South Korea and the United States completed the regulatory process needed for Seoul’s provision of a base site for a U.S. missile defense battery, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

A bilateral committee on the status of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) approved the plan for land transfer, allowing the U.S. military to begin work for the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in the some 300,000-square-meter land in the southeastern county of Seongju.

The land was formerly owned by a Lotte Group affiliate and used as a golf course.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Update on the Columbian Man Assaulted at A Busan Costco

The Joong Ang Ilbo has an update on the racial incident involving a Columbian man at a Busan Costco.  His activism after the incident led to positive change at the Busan police department that handled his case:

Leonardo Mendoza and Shin Jin-yeong having a friendly chat in front of a supermarket after a severe racial discrimination case involving Mendoza in Busan. [SONG BONG-GEUN]

After the incident took place, did the Busan Yeonjae Police Department chief (Ryu Sam-yeong) call to apologize?

That’s correct. On Sunday (April 2) night, three days after, he apologized, saying, “We do have training, but it was very insufficient and we will expand training pertaining to foreigners.” On the next day, I called again and requested to have an internal racial discrimination training session. I went for a lecture to the police station on April 5. When I met him at the chief’s office, he said, “Of police chiefs countrywide, I am the only one with a perm. Of policemen, there are those who dislike hearing a lecture held by a foreigner. I ask for your understanding even though the audience may be small.”

When I actually went to the lecture hall, there were 250 policeman cramped inside. The policeman who handled the incident at the time attended and apologized to me in person. I learned for the first time in my 16 years living in Korea that there was an external affairs section that investigated incidents involving foreigners.

What kind of thoughts did you have?

With all that’s happened, the police chief can be called a hero. Anyone can write or post something. However, the police chief went above and beyond what he had to do and went a step further. In the end, the incident ended on a positive note. I counted, and there are 252 police departments in Korea. The change at the Yeonjae Police Department cannot stop there. The remaining 251 police chiefs must take an interest in safety measures for foreigners.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link, but the Korean man involved in this incident ultimately giving a half hearted apology for the incident as well.

Picture of the Day: Samsung Galaxy S8’s First Subscriber

First subscriber to Galaxy S8

The first subscriber to Samsung Electronics Co.’s new smartphone Galaxy S8 receives a device from Taeyeon of K-pop girl group Girls’ Generation during a presale activation event in Seoul on April 18, 2017, which was hosted by No. 2 mobile carrier KT Corp. The Galaxy S8 is slated to hit South Korean and U.S. stores on April 21. (Yonhap)

Has A Korean Monk Found the World’s Oldest Newspaper?

This newspaper appears to be in remarkably good shape for allegedly being so old.  Even if it is a fake the history of the first newspaper printed during the Joseon dynasty is pretty interesting:

A newspaper piece on Nov. 23 of 1577, in the lunar calendar, discovered by monk Ji Bong of Yonghwa Temple in Yeongcheon, North Gyeongsang. Possibly part of the oldest newspaper ever printed, the piece contains records on the weather and the constellation. [KIM JUNG-SEOK]

What is possibly the oldest newspaper ever printed has been discovered by a monk of Yonghwa Temple in Yeongcheon, North Gyeongsang. Scholars have yet to verify the authenticity of the newspaper, which is recorded to have been printed in 1577, 83 years ahead of Leipziger Zeitung, the world’s first newspaper, which was printed in 1660 in Germany.“I found it at an auction website that sells old documents and books this month,” said monk Ji Bong on Tuesday. “It was up on the website from January but no one seemed interested. I have been interested in old books and bibliographies for 20 years, so I bought it.”

Ji Bong did not specify how much he paid for it or who he bought it from.

The newspaper is in eight pieces and not all are intact. The dates printed on them are: Nov. 6, 15, 19, 23 and 24, all in 1577, in the lunar year calendar system.

The pieces contain articles about Queen Inseong’s welfare and the fact that the regular discussion of state affairs among the king and the ministers were not held on Nov. 6; that hundreds of cows died of infectious disease on Nov. 15; some records of the weather and the constellation on Nov. 23; and the welfare of ministers, including one by the name of Lee Jung-hyeong, on Nov. 24.

The existence of the oldest newspaper is mentioned in the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty. The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty are the records of the dynasty (1392-1910) from 1392 to 1863, completed in 1,893 chapters in 888 books. Thought to be the longest continual records of a single dynasty in the world, the annals have been registered at the Unesco Memory of the World since 1997.

In the annals for Nov. 28, 1577, in the lunar calendar, King Seonjo (1552-1608) is recorded to have rebuked his ministers for printing newspapers without the king’s permission. Seonjo is recorded to have shut down the publication, rounded up some 30 people who took part in it and sentenced them to a severe punishment.

Historians have said the king was against the publication of a newspaper at the time because he was afraid that state secrets may be leaked to ordinary citizens or foreign powers.

“The publication of the newspaper at the time was a big deal to the royal court,” Ji Bong said. “They say the people who published the newspaper disappeared one morning and the people who possessed any copies had to destroy or hide them.”  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.