North Korea

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The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced the indictment of two Europeans for allegedly conspiring with a recently sentenced American cryptocurrency researcher to help North Korea evade U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported. Alejandro Cao de Benos of Spain, who founded a pro-Pyongyang affinity organization, and Christopher Emms of Britain, a cryptocurrency businessman, were accused of recruiting the researcher Virgil Griffith to illegally provide cryptocurrency and blockchain technology services to North Korea. Both defendants are at large.
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North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, admitted on Tuesday that his efforts to rebuild the country’s moribund economy have failed, as he opened his country’s biggest political event amid deepening economic trouble caused by the one-two punch of international sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Times reported. “Our five-year economic development plan has fallen greatly short of its goals in almost all sectors,” Mr. Kim said in his opening speech to the ruling Workers’ Party’s eighth congress that began in Pyongyang, the capital, on Tuesday. Mr.

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Once seen as an opportunity for investors to position themselves for a future North Korean turnaround, the country's rarely traded defaulted debt may move further into the twilight zone after new sanctions were imposed this week on Pyongyang, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. Debt from North Korea - probably the most isolated of the frontier markets - has already been frozen for years as the secretive nation faces the most stringent sanctions regime in the world.
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South Korean companies operating at a joint industrial estate in North Korea have said they face bankruptcy in many cases because of icy cross-border relations, Agence France-Presse reported. In a joint statement they demanded that the South Korean government improve ties with the North so that the Kaesong estate can run normally. The factory bosses also demanded that the communist North withdraw "unilateral and unacceptable" wage and rent demands, ease restrictions on border crossings and guarantee the safety of South Koreans working there.
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