See More on Facebook

Culture and society, Diplomacy

NK halts casino projects under pressure from China

The report comes from Radio Free Asia via the Korea Herald.


Written by

Updated: December 19, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the halt of ongoing casino-related projects, under pressure from Beijing, Radio Free Asia reported Tuesday.

Citing unnamed Chinese sources with connections to North Korea, RFA reported that Kim halted the construction of a hotel, the plans for which include a casino, in Sinuiju, North Pyongang Province, due to Beijing’s disapproval. The hotel, which would be 30 stories once completed, currently stands incomplete at about 20 stories, according to reports. Sinuiju is located across the Yalu River from China’s Dandung.

“The main reason for halting the casino project is that it has been deemed that the project is a major hindrance to obtaining investment from other countries, particularly China,” RFA quoted the source as saying.

“Kim appears to have made the decision upon hearing that the Chinese government is negative about North Korea’s casino project.”

The RFA report also quoted the source as relaying a North Korean trading company official’s statement that Kim personally gave the orders to end “all troublesome casino projects.”

The RFA report also quoted another unnamed source as saying that if related reports are true, the Sinuiju hotel project may resume in the near future, without a casino.

The report went on to quote the source as saying that if Pyongyang forges ahead with casino projects, Beijing could take tougher measures, including prohibiting the flow of Chinese capital and tourists into North Korea.

Since taking power, Kim has shown considerable interest in tourism and casino industries. In May, Kim ordered the construction of a luxury hotel and casino within the Wonsan-Kalma coastal tourism project along the country’s east coast. Kim is also reported to have asked for US President Donald Trump’s aid for the project in the letter he sent the US president in June.

Kim’s drive to use casinos as a source of foreign currency, however, has been met with disapproval from China, North Korea’s main ally and trading partner.

As China prohibits gambling, an increasing number of Chinese are said to be going abroad to gamble, which Beijing hopes to curb.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society, Diplomacy

PM Imran welcomes release of 2 hostages by Taliban in Afghanistan

Pakistan has stakes in any high level talks between the Taliban and the United States. The Taliban insurgents released two Western hostages — Kevin King from the United States and Timothy Weeks from Australia — on Tuesday in a prisoner exchange deal with the Afghan government, two Afghan officials said. “This morning at around 10am two American University professors were released in Nawbahar district of Zabul province. They were flown out of Zabul by American helicopters,” a local police source said. “The two professors are safely freed and are being taken care of now,” one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. The American and Australian were exchanged with three Taliban leaders, including key militant figure Anas Haqqani, added Reuters. Three Taliban sources in the province also confirmed the release. There was, h


By Dawn
November 20, 2019

Culture and society, Diplomacy

Beijing’s comments on HK court decision could signal direct intervention

Beijing has rejected a Hong Kong court decision. China has firmly rejected the Hong Kong High Court’s decision to overturn a controversial mask ban aimed at quelling violent protests, prompting experts to say the central government could soon act to ensure its constitutional authority over Hong Kong is not challenged. China’s Parliament and Cabinet both issued statements early on Tuesday (Nov 19) morning that the ruling challenged the authority of both the Hong Kong authorities and the central government. The response came a day after the city’s High Court ruled that th


By The Straits Times
November 20, 2019

Culture and society, Diplomacy

What is Oplan Tokhang and why is it in the news?

A particular phrase has popped up a number of times in news from the Philippines in the past several days that is probably a mystery to much of the world. That phrase is Oplan Tokhang, a concept that is directly related to the country’s drug war. Discussions around this idea will be something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months. What is Oplan Tokhang? First, what does it mean? The word tokhang, is a made-up portmanteau of the local words for knock (tok) and plead (hangyo) and describes police operations that were launched by the Duterte administration in July of 2016 that involved officers going door to door to root out drug-related offenders. The phrase has become synonymous with the Duterte administration’s notoriously brutal war on drugs, with the word tokhang becoming directly associated with the killings r


By Quinn Libson
November 20, 2019

Culture and society, Diplomacy

N. Korea rejects nuclear talks before US withdraws hostile policy

The US and South Korea have suspended a joint air drill to appease Pyongyang. North Korea said Tuesday it has no interest in denuclearization negotiations with the United States unless Washington drops its “hostile” policy. Kim Yong-chol, who formerly led the negotiations as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s counterpart, issued the statement in response to Sunday’s decision by South Korea and the US to postpone military exercises in support of diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the North. “What we are demanding from the US is that it withdraw from combined military exercises with South Korea or completely stop the exercises,” Kim, a vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, said in the statement carried by the North’s Korean Central News Agency. “Postponing the combined military exercises does not guarantee peace


By Cod Satrusayang
November 19, 2019

Culture and society, Diplomacy

Nepal hasn’t been able to adapt to a changing world

Think tanks can play a significant role in helping countries like Nepal deal with the changes. Last week, more than a hundred think tanks came together in Bangkok to discuss how they can help manage the transition amidst trade wars and the shrinking of space for open dialogues and discourses. The Asia Pacific Think Tank Summit was organised by the United Nations ESCAP and the University of Pennsylvania. While the world has progressed and is discussing pertinent issues, back home in Nepal, we continue to be preoccupied with mundane issues like the health of the prime minister, parties and lawyers busy protecting criminals and, of course, politicians making sure they do not lose control of universities. No one, whether in government or heading institutions, has a vision as to how the country or their respective organisation will look like in 2030. It seems that the only way of thinking pr


By The Kathmandu Post
November 19, 2019

Culture and society, Diplomacy

US-Thai defence treaty looks to cement alliance in 21st century

Thailand is the US’ oldest treaty ally in Southeast Asia. Thailand and the United States have signed a defence treaty to enable stability, prosperity and sustainability in the Indo-Pacific region “in support of an inclusive and rules-based international order”. The US-Thailand Joint Vision Statement 2020 advances the 2018 US National Defence Strategy and Thailand’s 20-Year National Strategy objectives “by reaffirming our shared commitment to the long-standing defence alliance”, according to a statement issued by the US embassy in Bangkok on Sunday. “It strengthens the special relationship with a focus on the long-term advancement of mutual interests and shared values while also promoting security cooperation capable of deterring or acting decisively to meet the shared challenges of the future”, the statement added. Academics said the move reaffirmed US policy o


By The Nation (Thailand)
November 18, 2019