It would seem that not a lot has changed at the northern end of the Korean peninsula of late, so here are some gems:
Japan Accused of Whale Hunting
In terms of unexpected things done by the Japanese, that is on a par with 'The Japanese eat rice'. The only piece of note in the item is this, a vanishingly rare piece of praise: "Whale meat is very expensive in shops, markets and restaurants throughout Japan and whalebones turn into high-grade craftworks".
Another news item on the Japanese land expropriations in 1906 suggests that the DPRK will not be extending the hand of friendship any time soon: "The Japanese imperialists should be made to pay to the Korean people for all the generations to come for those hideous crimes".
Meanwhile, should I attend an out of town meeting any time soon I am going to have my role written up as an 'immortal exploit', just like Kim Jong Il does:
"Praising Kim Jong Il for his immortal exploits for the development of the Sino-DPRK friendship through his two visits to China last year, the vice president [of the China Association for International Friendly Contact] expressed the belief that the friendship would further develop under the concern of the leaders of the two countries this year, too.
Facetiousness to one side, anyone wanting to know what the DPRK is really like should read Barbara Demick's 'Nothing to Envy', a heartbreaking narrative derived from the testimony of escapees from the the DPRK. It can be had second hand for the price of a pint.