RFA in the News (November 2016)

2016-12-12
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UPI

Nov. 30 “North Korea getting ready for air force exercises
… A North Korea-based military source told Radio Free Asia Wednesday the kind of winter training that is in preparation is at an "actual level" that could meet the demands of war.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

Nov. 30 “Why is China afraid of Fidel Castro? Beijing closes online groups praising Cuban leader
… Internet censors in the country have shut down discussion groups on WeChat after users showered accolades on Castro, RFA said citing sources. "At 3.30 p.m. today, Beijing time, the chat groups Ideology Salon, Constitutional Road, The Wind And The Rain, The East is Dawning, Consensus, and Towards a Republic, were all closed down," a WeChat user said, Radio Free Asia reported.

KBS
Nov. 30 “RFA: N. Korea’s Media Coverage of Rallies in S. Korea May Backfire
Radio Free Asia (RFA) says that North Korea’s active media coverage of massive antigovernment rallies in South Korea may backfire and expose North Korean residents to free democracy.

NEW FOCUS INTERNATIONAL
Nov. 30 “China continues secret oil exports into North Korea
Despite UN sanctions, China has been reportedly exporting fuel by train from a Dandong military fuel supply centre to North Korea, according to a report by Radio Free Asia.

POYNTER
Nov. 30 “Daily Summary - Stengel’s new job
… Rick Stengel, the former very strong editorial boss at Time magazine, is departing a top State Department job to be chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Most people have never heard of it but it's an important entity if not without problems as it overseas the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia and several other government broadcast entities.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS (Also in HONG KONG FREE PRESS)
Nov. 29 “China detains publisher of human rights news website
… Huang has been subjected to routine police harassment since he founded 64 Tianwang, which, according to Radio Free Asia, has been blocked in China since March 2003 and has frequently been attacked by hackers.

38 NORTH
Nov. 29 “Foreign Media into North Korea: Finding Synergy Between Pop Culture and Tailored Content
… Collaboration between content providers should not stop there. Unlike US government-sponsored media organizations such as Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia (RFA), most South Korean and Japanese private radio stations targeting North Korea are small and underfunded.

YONHAP
Nov. 29 “Report on graves for victims of N. Korean human rights abuses to be issued
… The Seoul-based Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) plans to publish its first report on the collective graves in April or May, insisting it has gotten a grasp of 12 places believed to have such mass graves through interviews with 277 North Korean defectors and satellite images since last September, Radio Free Asia (RFA) said.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS
Nov. 29 “Xinjiang court upholds ‘extraordinarily harsh’ 19-year sentence for outspoken writer Zhang Haitao
… The verdict for Zhang issued in January cited as evidence comments he made on Twitter and WeChat, his work for overseas website Boxun, and interviews he gave to US-backed news outlets Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.

NEW YORK TIMES
Nov. 28 “China Takes a Chain Saw to a Center of Tibetan Buddhism
… Interviews with residents at Larung Gar and reports from Human Rights Watch, Radio Free Asia and overseas pro-Tibet groups indicate that officials intend to reduce the settlement’s population to 5,000 by late next year through mass evictions.

YONHAP
Nov. 28 “N. Korean fishermen rob each other due to depleted fishing grounds
… "Robberies between North Korean fishermen are on the rise because their catch has diminished since the North Korean authorities sold the rights to fish in major fishing grounds in the East and West Seas earlier this year," Radio Free Asia said, citing a source in North Korea.

KHMER TIMES

Nov. 28 “Rainsy Supports Call to Use French Map

… Speaking with Radio Free Asia on Friday, Mr. Rainsy – who faces legal action over his posting of a “fake” border treaty on Facebook earlier this year – said that French help in producing more detailed maps would be of benefit to Cambodia.

FIRSTPOST

Nov. 26 “ Indian intel may shrug off China's presence in Kashmir, but it may be worse than we think

… According to Radio Free Asia, this incident was preceded by an attack on Uighurs in the town of Aksu resulting in 50 deaths and more than 50 injured.

DAILY MAIL

Nov. 25 “Just when life in North Korea couldn't get any worse - the country gets its first ESTATE AGENTS (even though buying a home is illegal)

… Brokers compile lists of people who put their houses up for sale in desirable areas and pressure them into letting them take over the deal, earning between 20 and 30 percent on each transaction, according to Radio Free Asia.

KBS

Nov. 24 “N. Korean Official Returns Home After Meeting US Experts in Geneva

… Robert Einhorn, a Brookings Institution fellow who unofficially represented Washington, told U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Asia the North Korean delegation showed keen interest, but did not receive enough information to fully satisfy their curiosity about Trump's prospective approach to Pyongyang.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

Nov. 24 “Myanmar Rohingya crisis deepens as Bangladesh blocks fleeing refugees

… According to Radio Free Asia, the motive of the attack on Myanmar border posts was the Myanmar government's decision to pull down illegally built mosques and other religious buildings in the townships.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

Nov. 24 “China: Rights activists arrested in Shenzhen missing; police give no clue

Eight Chinese rights activists who were taken away from a community meal in the suburbs of southern Chinese city of Shenzhen are still missing and the relatives have no clue as where they have been put up, Radio Free Asia reported.

KBS

Nov. 24 “RFA: N. Korea Building Large Apartment Near Yongbyon

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on Thursday that a large apartment complex is being built near North Korea's main nuclear facility, indicating that more people live around there and possibly work at the plants.

TIMES OF INDIA

Nov. 23 “China asks Xinjiang residents to ‘report’ religious activities so it can ‘assist’ such practices

… In fact, Radio Free Asia reported late last month that Beijing has sent more than 350 officials to the Hetian prefecture in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for a three-year stint "monitoring mosques".

YONHAP

Nov. 23 “N.K. asks German relief organ to build clinic in flood-damaged area

… The North's health ministry made the request while saying that schools and hospitals as well as houses there have been swept away by floods, the Radio Free Asia cited Caritas Germany as saying via its homepage of late.

YONHAP (Also in KBS, KOREA HERALD)

Nov. 22 “Over 1,500 N. Koreans killed by natural disasters in decade: RFA

… The North has suffered a total of 10 massive natural disasters since 2007, which left 1,533 people dead, Radio Free Asia (RFA) said, citing data from the disaster research institute of the University of Leuven in Belgium, Radio Free Asia, monitored here, said.

CHANNEL NEWS ASIA

Nov. 21 “N Korea orders safekeeping late leaders' portraits during emergencies: Report

… The relics from the Provincial Artifacts Center in Cheongjin of Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il will be moved into a cave in the Chongam District, according Yonhap which quoted US broadcaster Radio Free Asia (RFA).

KOREA HERALD (Also in YONHAP)

Nov. 20 “N. Korean trains virtually out of service due to power shortage: report

… North Korean train service has virtually come to a stop due to a nationwide power shortage, a US-based media outlet said Sunday. The train from the border city of Hyesan now takes 10 days or longer to get to Pyongyang, US radio broadcaster Radio Free Asia reported, citing Japanese media outlet Asia Press.

VOA

Nov. 18 “Backing the Fight for Digital Rights

… *The Open Technology Fund is a joint project of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and Radio Free Asia (RFA.) The BBG is VOA’s parent agency, and RFA is a sister media organization to VOA.

UPI

Nov. 18 “Report: North Korea sending athletes overseas to earn money for regime

… Pyongyang is using sporting events to earn revenue because tournaments and competitions are not subject to sanctions, Radio Free Asia reported Friday. RFA's source also said the regime is in negotiations with countries like China, India and Bulgaria to send more martial arts instructors and athletes.

KOREA HERALD
Nov. 17 “’18 N. Korean students current in US’
The number of North Korean students studying in the US has more than doubled on-year, US-based Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.

UPI
Nov. 16 “U.N. committee condemns North Korea human rights abuses

…Representatives of Slovakia and Japan stated resources are being diverted from the basic needs of North Koreans because of the weapons, and the regime is ignoring the suffering of the people in the aftermath of a flood in August and September, Radio Free Asia reported.

KOREA TIMES
Nov. 16 “N. Korea names new UN deputy ambassador
…”The replacement is unusual as An’s tenure was less than two years, compared with his predecessors’ four to five years on average,” the Radio Free Asia (RFA) said, citing a U.N. source.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE (Also in GUARDIAN, KYODO, PAKISTAN TODAY)

Nov. 16 “Expanding BBC to launch news service for North Koreans

… Strict censorship means that North Koreans have to resort to illicit, tech-savvy measures to access foreign broadcasts such as the US-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.

YONHAP
Nov. 15 “N.K. trying to earn hard currency via patent translation: RFA
…“I’ve received emails from a North Korea translation company starting in 2013 under the title of ‘Application for International Patent in South and North Korea,” the Radio Free Asia (RFA) cited a Korean-American lawyer as saying.

KOREA HERLAD
Nov. 15 “Chinese bank opens branch in NK in violation of UN resolution: RFA
…“I’ve witnessed that a Chinese bank has opened a branch in the North’s Rason special economic zone, and was doing business,” the Radio Free Asia (RFA) quoted a Chinese business man, who recently traveled to the economic zone, as saying.

PHNOM PENH POST
Nov. 15 “CPP sees parallels with protests in America
… The piece singled out “the opposition party, some civil society groups and those whose boast about themselves that they are ‘independent analysts’ and also…Radio Free Asia” as hypocrites for being silent about the police response to protesters in the US.

FOREIGN POLICY

Nov. 14 “SitRep: A Trump Pentagon in Waiting; Special Ops, the CIA, and Jordan

A local source tells Radio Free Asia, somewhat breathlessly, that the base is a sign China is preparing for the collapse of North Korea.

ASIAN CORRESPONDENT

Nov. 14 “Burma: Fresh round of violence breaks out in Rakhine state

… A government spokesman Zaw Htay was quoted by Radio Free Asia as saying that the attacks on Saturday killed an officer and a soldier.

YONHAP (Also in NEW YORK TIMES, KOREA HERALD, UPI, DAILY CALLER)

Nov. 14 “N.K. collects foil from residents to make camouflage nets

… "The North Korean authorities are urging residents to offer foil as a material to support the army, while insisting that (American) satellites cannot take pictures of their anti-aircraft batteries if they are covered with camouflage nets made of foil," the Radio Free Asia said, citing a source in the North's North Hamkyong Province.

FORBES (Also in YIBADA)

Nov. 13 “China's Building A Wall. Any Lessons For Trump?

… According to Radio Free Asia, construction started in August after residents had been relocated. As one “source” told RFA, the base is “unprecedented.”

YONHAP (Also in KBS)

Nov. 11 “Russia to give food, fuel to N. Korean flood victims

… In its Thursday press release, Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry announced the decision to send more than 175 tons of food and over 700 tons of diesel oil, the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia said.

KHMER TIMES

Nov. 11 “Rainsy Calls PM a Dictator Again

… In an interview with Radio Free Asia on Wednesday night, Mr. Rainsy – who previously said Mr. Trump had the attitude of a dictator but later congratulated him on his victory in a Facebook post – claimed that the US election results showed true democracy and real change.

NEW YORK TIMES

Nov. 10 “Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe, Interpol: Your Friday Briefing

Severe flooding in central Vietnam has caused 15 deaths, destroyed thousands of homes and caused more than $44 million in damage. [Radio Free Asia]

CYBERSCOOP (Also in FEDSCOOP)

Nov. 9 “The encryption debate will reignite under President Trump

… The Government Accountability Office is currently studying accusations that a lot of money has been wasted on internet freedom programs at the State Department, the Broadcasting Board of Governors and Radio Free Asia, according a source with knowledge of the issue. The results of the GAO study, especially if unfavorable as expected, could also color the new encryption debate.

PHNOM PENH POST

Nov. 9 “From government lips to Fresh News’s readers

… "After Fresh News gets the documents from the government, independent media outlets like the Phnom Penh Post or Radio Free Asia or Voice of Democracy can focus on the other side of the story," said Chhean Nariddh. "So Fresh News fills a gap."

KOREA TIMES (Also in YONHAP)

Nov. 8 “N. Korea's life expectancy to increase slightly

… In its latest "State of World Population 2016" report, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) predicted the life expectancies of North Korean males and females born from 2015-2020 at 67 and 75, respectively, the Radio Free Asia (RFA) said.

YONHAP

Nov. 7 “N. Korea cracking down on drifters

… "In early October, (the central government) made the instruction to have unregistered residents hiding along the coast or deep in the mountains register their residence," Radio Free Asia (RFA) said, citing a source in the North's South Hamkyong Province.

KHMER TIMES

Nov. 7 “Bodyguards Released From Jail

Radio Free Asia claimed last week that they had spoken to neighbors of Mr. Hoeun’s family, who told them that once the three men were imprisoned, the family members moved into a nicer apartment and secured their own business.

KYODO NEWS (Also in TODAY)

Nov. 5 “Cambodian opposition party at risk

… Mr Tooch Van, an overseas Cambodian academician living in the United States, said social media such as Facebook in addition to US government-funded services such as Radio Free Asia and Voice of America have played a critical role in keeping the CNRP alive.

KBS

Nov. 4 “Italy to Chair UN Committee Monitoring Sanctions Against N. Korea

Radio Free Asia reported Friday that Italy will chair the UNSC's 1718 Sanctions Committee beginning January first, following a two-year term by Spain.

YONHAP (Also in KBS)

Nov. 4 “N.K.'s grain output expected to drop 200,000 tons this year: researcher

"There were earlier predictions that North Korea's food conditions this year would get better than previous years, but recent flood damages in the North Hamkyong Province and a bad weather would rather worsen the North's grain output," Kim Woon-geun, head of the Seoul-based Korean Peninsula Agro-fishery Policy Research Institute (KAPRI), told the Radio Free Asia.

UPI (Also in DAILY MAIL, JERUSALEM ONLINE)

Nov. 4 “North Korea families pressuring elderly to commit suicide

… Elderly North Koreans who can no longer depend on the country's welfare system must also cope with their children who are sometimes apathetic to their needs, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.

SHANGHAIIST (Also in GLOBAL VOICES)

Nov. 3 “Chinese activist hasn't been heard from since planning to wear 'Xitler' shirt in public on China's National Day

Radio Free Asia reports that friends of Kwon Pyong haven't heard from the young activist since September 30th. Prior to his sudden disappearance, he had told friends about his plan to walk around in public wearing a shirt reading "Xitler" on October 1st, China's National Day, which marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS

Nov. 3 “Young Chinese activist missing after sharing plan to wear ‘Xitler’ t-shirt in public – report

… An officer at the Yanji police department confirmed to US-backed Radio Free Asia that Kwon is currently in police custody. Officers at the same police department that answered the phone were unable to confirm Quan’s detention with HKFP.

KBS

Nov. 3 “Kim Jong-un on Int’l List of Press Freedom Predators

Radio Free Asia says an international nonprofit media watchdog placed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on its list of 35 "predators of press freedom" in the world.

YONHAP

Nov. 3 “China likely to provide power to N.K.’s Rason economic zone
A total of 68 power transmission towers are being built between the Chinese border city of Hunchun and the adjacent Rason economic zone, Curtis Melvin, a researcher at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins, claimed on Radio Free Asia.

YONHAP (Also in KOREA HERALD)

Nov. 3 “N.K. names new envoy to Britain following senior diplomat's defection

… In reports by Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA) in 2009, his name appeared on the list of visitors to the U.S. as vice chairman of the Korea-America Private Exchange Society (KAPES), an organization that liaises with US-based non-governmental groups.

KOREA HERALD (Also in CHOSUN, KOREA TIMES)

Nov. 2 “NK sounding out labor export to Mongolia

North Korea is seeking ways to export its workers to Mongolia as the central Asian country is recruiting foreign laborers to work at its mines, a U.S. broadcaster, monitored here, said Wednesday. "(As far as I know), the North Korean authorities recently set up ways to make use of its workforce, and keeps trying to make contacts with the Mongolian side," the Radio Free Asia cited a Mongolian construction official as saying over the phone.

CHOSUN ILBO (Also in UPI)

Nov. 2 “N.Korean Restaurants in China Relent on 'No S.Koreans' Policy

North Korean restaurants in China have quietly lifted a ban on South Korean customers put in place after the entire staff of one restaurant defected in April, Radio Free Asia reported on Tuesday. Newly opened restaurants have no official restrictions on customer access, while established ones still nominally ban South Korean tour groups but admit South Koreans who come in Chinese company, sources in Dalian and Dandong told RFA.

LION’S ROAR (Also in Phayul)

Nov. 1 “Larung Gar’s evicted Buddhist monastics must pledge to never return

Evictions of Buddhist monastics at Larung Gar, the largest Tibetan Buddhist institute in the world, are underway, and according to Radio Free Asia, those evicted must sign a pledge to never return to the center.

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