Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 06:07 | SYDNEY
Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 06:07 | SYDNEY

Inside the Hermit Kingdom


Malcolm Cook

22 August 2008 16:36

Three stories about North Korea have come across my desk this week that raised my eyebrows and reminded me how odd a country it is and how many are keen to bring it in from its self-imposed isolation. First, North Korea reiterated its claim that neutral Sweden is an enemy. Sweden an enemy, hmmm.

Second, on 13 August, Pyongyang hosted a stage of the 'Gumball Rally' — ironically a car race for millionaires. Its organiser hopes it will help bring North Korea and the West closer together. Six months ago, of course, a similar strategy was tried when the Pyongyang elite were serenaded by the New York Philharmonic.

Third, Human Rights Watch has released a statement calling for better treatment of North Korean workers in Mongolia. It shows how the Pyongyang regime approaches labour migration schemes. Needless to say, quite a bit differently than the recently announced program for Pacific island labour migration to Australia.