Jong-Heon Lee

 JONG-HEON LEE

Fewer escaped N. Korea in 2012 as Kim Jong-Un hardened borders, tightened internal security

Fewer escaped N. Korea in 2012 as Kim Jong-Un hardened borders, tightened internal security

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com Fleeing North Korea has been increasingly difficult due to tightened border controls and stronger internal security measures since the country’s new ruler Kim Jong-Un assumed power a year ago, South Korean officials and sources say. But defectors in Seoul say that desperate North Koreans will keep trying to […]

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Fewer escaped N. Korea in 2012 as Kim Jong-Un hardened borders, tightened internal security

Fewer escaped N. Korea in 2012 as Kim Jong-Un hardened borders, tightened internal security

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com Fleeing North Korea has been increasingly difficult due to tightened border controls and stronger internal security measures since the country’s new ruler Kim Jong-Un assumed power a year ago, South Korean officials and sources say. But defectors in Seoul say that desperate North Koreans will keep trying to cross the border by […]

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No joy in Pyongyang over Park’s win in South Korea's presidential election

No joy in Pyongyang over Park’s win in South Korea's presidential election

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — Pyongyang’s favored candidate lost with the victory of conservative, anti-communist ruling party candidate Park Geun-Hye in the recent presidential election here. The destitute North openly endorsed Park’s rival, opposition contender Moon Jae-In. Moon had promised to resume massive economic aid and cross-border projects with the North that would provide Pyongyang with […]

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N. Korea seen reaping more aid no matter who wins S. Korean presidential race

N. Korea seen reaping more aid no matter who wins S. Korean presidential race

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com North Korea could enjoy economic aid and benefits from cross-border projects regardless who wins the Dec. 19 presidential election in South Korea. This is because all of the three major candidates have promised to distance themselves from current President Lee Myung-Bak’s hardline stance towards the North. Park Geun-Hye, the nominee of the […]

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N. Korea increasingly becoming 'dollarized'

N. Korea increasingly becoming 'dollarized'

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com North Korean authorities are resorting to black markets in order to trade the country’s won currency with U.S. dollars or Chinese yuan, as state holdings of hard currencies are drying up, sources and analysts in Seoul say. The regime’s rush for foreign currencies will accelerate the U.S. “dollarization” of the isolated […]

 JONG-HEON LEE

Kim Jong-Un ‘obliterated’ officer, purges others to escape his father’s shadow

Kim Jong-Un ‘obliterated’ officer, purges others to escape his father’s shadow

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — Several additional senior North Korean officials favored by the country’s late leader Kim Jong-Il have been recently dismissed from their posts by new ruler Kim Jong-Un, who is cementing his own power base, officials and sources in Seoul say. Among those sacked in October are Minister […]

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Kim Jong-Un 'obliterated' officer, purges others to escape his father's shadow

Kim Jong-Un 'obliterated' officer, purges others to escape his father's shadow

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — Several additional senior North Korean officials favored by the country’s late leader Kim Jong-Il have been recently dismissed from their posts by new ruler Kim Jong-Un, who is cementing his own power base, officials and sources in Seoul say. Among those sacked in October are Minister of Physical Culture […]

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N. Korea is selling off gold to China to maintain lifestyles of ruling elites

N. Korea is selling off gold to China to maintain lifestyles of ruling elites

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com North Korea exported more than 2 tons of gold to China over the past year in exchange for $100 million in currency — a desperate moved caused by a dysfunctional economy and international sanctions, a diplomatic source in Seoul said. The money from the gold seems to have gone to purchase […]

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Kim Jong-Un faces disciplinary crisis following series of military defections over DMZ

Kim Jong-Un faces disciplinary crisis following series of military defections over DMZ

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com DEMILITARIZED ZONE, South Korea — Recent defections by North Korean soldiers who escaped across the heavily militarized border with South Korea illustrate an erosion of military discipline caused by young ruler Kim Jong-Un, who has taken steps to weaken the military, government sources in Seoul say. Three North Korean soldiers have […]

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Return of purged 'reformist gang' at rare N. Korean assembly signals change

Return of purged 'reformist gang' at rare N. Korean assembly signals change

By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com North Korea did not announce this week the economic reforms that it adopted in June because it feared a negative reaction that could weaken the fragile leadership of its young ruler, Kim Jong-Un, government officials and sources in Seoul said. When the North announced it would convene a rare second session […]