INSIDE North Korea - Personal Experiences

North Korea or its Official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is not as well-known as many other countries. Many descriptions of DPRK also do not provide a fair and balanced holistic "big picture" of the beautiful country known by the many who actually have visited her.

Embedded as a DPRK Business Mission Team member is Mediacorp journalist Ms Wong Pei Ting. Her first person account of the Historic Mission is unconventional, fair, balanced, honest and wonderfully informative. 

Read the following:  

Return to the Original DPRK Mission Report:

At The Dawn of Peace


Anyone interested in the above projects or be part of the next DPRK expeditions or just interested in DPRK can contact me:


The Americans are so pathetic

After pledging to give US$113m for a regional cyber infrastructure, read as building castle in the air or space, a pittance to any of the natural aristocrats in Singapore, the Americans are pledging to give another US$300m to Asean for security cooperation. What a joke? A pauper is a pauper. When you have no money, don't pretend to be a rich man and throw a few pieces of crumbs and expect the recipients to be grateful for it. And this is the sorry state of the American Empire, wasting all its money in fighting wars instead of doing something useful for its people and the people of the world, especially its allies.

How big are these few hundred millions compare to the US$350 billion China is contributing to the Belt and Road Infrastructure project for the whole of Asia? This is like a tiny drop in the ocean.

Below was reported in the Channel News Asia.

"SINGAPORE: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged on Saturday (Aug 4) to provide nearly US$300 million in new security funding for Southeast Asia.
Pompeo unveiled the figure to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other officials from around the world in Singapore.
"As part of our commitment to advancing regional security in the Indo-Pacific, the United States is excited to announce nearly US$300 million dollars of new funding to reinforce security cooperation throughout the entire region," he said.
"This new security assistance will advance our shared priorities, especially to strengthen maritime security, develop humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping capabilities and enhance programmes that counter transnational threats.""

Just like the US$113m, where are the details? Or it is just another hot air? At most, the US$300m would be tied to buying American weapons, weapons that they have over produced and have no use for except to fight wars. And to make the weapons meaningful to the Asean countries, the Americans would be agitating and provoking more tensions in the region and then tell the Asean countries, "See, China or North Korea is going to invade and conquer Asean countries. Quick, quick, here are the weapons, take them as cheap price. The low interest rate would be paid by the US$300m we pledged to help Asean."

How many silly Asean countries would fall to this trap again?

The Americans have become another one trick pony. Conduct wars, start wars and sell weapons. There is nothing good coming from the Americans except wars and more wars. They did not know what else they can do to make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place except to conduct wars and create tensions everywhere they go.


Who is behind all the terrorist groups in the world?

When would world leaders, especially little USAs and American cronies, admit that the USA is behind all the terrorist movements and groups attacking legally elected and legitimate govts? The denials or looking the other way cannot go on anymore. The Americans are the number One terrorist organization breeding, training, funding and supporting all the terrorist movements all over the world, from Latin America through Europe, Central Asia, China’s Xinjiang, Middle East, Africa and SE Asia, including those in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, are all funded by the Americans.

The most glaring example is Syria. The rebels and ISIS were all babies of the Americans. They have been defeated and at the last stage of being totally annihilated by the combined forces of Syrian govt, Russian and Iranian armies, holed up in Idlib.

The Americans are desperately trying to protect and save them and have unleashed Israel to attack, bomb and strike at Syrian and Iranian soldiers fighting the ISIS and rebels. The Americans have also inserted their Special Forces into Syria and have done the inevitable, direct contact with Russian Special Forces. Both sides are fighting fiercely without admitting the direct clashes between two of the most well trained special forces in the world. The Americans struck first and inflicted big casualties on the Russians, killing a Russian general, and the latter had hit back to exact revenge.

The Americans continue to build up more conventional forces around Syria, more warships and attack aircraft to match the Russian presence, all in a last ditch effort to save their poodles in the rebel movements and ISIS. Die, die the Americans want to save them to fight another day. They cannot accept defeat in the hands of the combined Russian, Iranian and Syrian forces. More American Special Forces are moving into Syria to confront the Russians in a situation they have been avoiding but forced to do so now.

There is no reason for the Evil Empire to risk a major war with the Russians just for some rebels and terrorist groups unless these are American assets that they seriously and desperately wanted to preserve and save to be redeployed in other theatres of war at their disposal. This showed how important the rebels and terrorist groups are to the Americans, that they are terror arms of the Americans.

The Americans are still trying to deceive the world, hiding under their deceptions, that the Americans are in Syria to fight the terrorists but in reality helping the terrorists, protecting the terrorists but fighting the Syrian, Iranian and Russian forces instead.

Where is the UN to openly condemn this American mischief and call a spade a spade and put an end to this devious American terrorism?


The bad old bus-ing days

The recent news that Singaporeans were more satisfied with buses than the MRT hit me like a freight train.  I never thought I would live to see the day when buses would outperform MRT trains which debuted 30 years ago to save Singaporeans from our ramshackle buses.  But it’s not fake news!  A survey by the Singapore Management University’s Institute of Service Excellence (ISE) actually showed that public buses scored 65.6 points compared to 63.3 points for MRT last year in the land and air transport Customer Satisfaction index.  This astonishing revelation triggered memories of my past bus-ing experience which I am pleased to share below. 

Growing up in the 60s, my most fearsome bogeyman was not my father, my teacher or the schoolyard bully.  It was the bus conductor.  God help you if he is in a bad mood, which was almost always.  Before you board the bus, be sure you know exactly where you are going otherwise the health warning is “Don’t board”. Never, never ask (even in the meekest fashion and the mildest tone) “where does this bus go uh?” because that’s the surest way to invite a earful. “You don’t know how to take bus lah! (as though you need a PhD to take bus) Bus go to so many places. Don’t even know where you go, how to tell you?!”

These guys were also not beneath getting physical if the bus was sadine-packed (which again was almost always). Whether you are man or woman, young or old, you better do as told. “Masuk dalam! Masuk dalam! (Move inside, move inside)” or you stand a good chance of being physically and involuntarily pushed in. This roughhouse tactic is played out against the soundtrack of dripping sarcasm - “Masuk dalam! Dalam tadak hantu! Kalau takut hantu, ambil teksi!” (“Move inside, inside no ghost, if scared of ghost, take taxi!”).  But they had their qualities too.  Such as the eagle-eyed sharpness with which they spot commuters who underpaid their fares. “Ha, want to cheat, is it?  This place is 30 cents, not 20 cents! No bargain!” Any attempt at apology is rudely dismissed with a snort of “Sorry no cure!” 

Oh sorry, I forgot about the hardware. Not only were the buses coming apart at the joints, they were also conspicuous by their absence. In short, lousy frequency and lousy buses. Air-con buses? Never heard of them. Count yourself lucky if they run - even if they run late.  But sometimes, just sometimes, so that you can’t even depend on them being late, they come early, with buses of the same service arriving in two- or three-somes.  It gave birth to the uniquely Singaporean term of “bus bunching”, which incidentally provided drivers and conductors with their moment of devilish fun. Seeing commuters flagging at his less crowded bus, the driver merrily wheeled away to the delight of his co-conspirator, the conductor who intoned - “Serve you right! Got bus don’t take, want to choose. Let you wait!” Whether the commuters are guilty of choosiness is debatable but one this is certain. Waiting for buses back then was like seeing the doctor - the wait was always longer than the journey.

Fastforward to the present.  We have gotten rid of the bus conductor.  The bus driver is more polite (in fact there is a warning to commuters not to abuse the drivers!). There was also an additional 1,000 new buses, all air-conditioned and many double-decked, as well as 80 new bus services introduced between 2012 and last year. As such, there is shorter waiting time and reduced crowds during peak hours. In fact there is a better chance of one getting a seat on a bus than a train. So I am really happy at the improvement because as one who have experienced the bad old bus-ing days, I daresay I speak with perspective - something that Vblogger Nas Daily (Nuseir Yassin) said Singaporeans lack.

Professor Lam Khin Yong – Singapore’s top scientist

In the news, thenewpaper reported, ‘For more than three decades, Professor Lam Khin Yong has pushed for scientific research that impacts society and has personally played a key role in shaping Singapore’s pool of scientific talent.’

The Vice President of NTU ‘pushed strongly for collaboration between industry, academia and public agencies and led multiple mergers and organizations, such as the Institute of High Performance Computing.’
For a life time of work, the professor was the recipient of the President’s Science and Technology Awards, the country’s highest honours for scientific achievement.

With such an accomplished academic, a full fledged Singaporean, why was there a need to go around the world to head hunt third world academics to head our universities? Why are Singaporeans not good enough, after contributing a life time of good work to benefit Singapore and Singaporeans, to head our academia?

When would Singaporeans like Professor Lam be deemed good enough to be head of NTU? Would it be easier for him to take on a foreign citizenship then be scouted from across the globe by foreign headhunting companies before he is good enough to head NTU? Would he be made President of NTU earlier if he was an angmoh or foreigner?

There is a saying, a prophet would not find honour in his home town. A local talent would not be recognized at home, only foreigners are considered good, because you did not know the full background of the foreigners. A local, probably you know him well, with all the scars and black spots, so not too attractive.
It would be sad if highly qualified and accomplished Singaporeans would have to make way for unknown foreigners for top positions in our very own country and have to be hired by other countries, to be recognized by other countries than their own countrymen.

There must be many distinguished Singaporeans academics in our midst waiting to be found to head our academia but found wanting by their Singaporean decision makers because the grass over the fence is greener. Ang moh tua kee or foreigners are better than Singaporeans. Fake or dubious certificates are tolerable, bearable, acceptable, no crime.

What do you think? If a country does not nurture and promote its own talents and always looking out for foreign talents, its own talents would have lesser chance to gain the experience and recognition in top positions. And the sillies would say they don’t have the experience, the exposure, because their fucking country would give the opportunity to foreigners to gain the exposure and experience.

What do you think?


American’s white lie in the UN General Assembly

Without blinking an eye, Trump threatens Iran with more sanctions based on these white lies when he spoke at the UN GA in front of leaders of the world.

In a REUTERS’ report this was what Trump accused the Iranians of, ‘a “corrupt dictatorship” that is plundering its people to pay for aggression abroad, ….”Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction,” …”They do not respect their neighbours or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.”’

Trump also attacked the legitimate International Criminal Court that is fully backed by the UN a having “no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority” over the Americans. Compare this court to the so called commercial arbitration court in the Hague that was set up unilaterally to hear the South China Sea dispute which the Americans and the silly little USAs claimed was UN backed and its ruling should be followed? Which one is UN backed and which one is not and which one is legitimate and which is not?

And think about all the silly Asian and SE Asian countries that willingly accepted the jurisdiction of American courts against their citizens and happily abided by their orders? Think Najib, 1MDB and his luxury yacht? Why would silly Asian and SE Asian countries subject themselves to the rulings to the American courts? Are they American colonies? The Americans have unilaterally imposed their American laws on other countries as if they owned these countries.

Coming back to what Trump accused Iran of, were they not exactly what the Americans were doing, ‘sowing chaos, death and destruction, not respecting their neighbours or borders or the sovereign rights of nations?”

What gave the Americans the rights to put their soldiers in Iraq, in Syria or in Afghanistan to fight American bred and funded, and trained ‘terrorists’?

How many of the leaders in the UN believe in this white American lie spouted by Trump? How many of you believe in this lie of Trump?

Would be more proper and appropriate for the UN to ‘ensure the American evil regime changes its behavior and never acquires a nuclear bomb instead of building more powerful and destructive bombs?’ Would it be more opportune for the UN to start to impose sanctions on the Americans for starting wars everywhere, threatening nations with sanctions and wars and supporting and training rebel and terrorist organizations to destabilize legitimate govt and countries?

The USA is a peace loving country? How many wars is it fighting today and how many wars it is going to start tomorrow?

On every count it is a rogue country, an Evil Empire.


Harvesting Peace @ DPRK (North Korea)

A Post-Mission Report

First DPRK Business Mission 2018
18-22 September 2018

At The Dawn of Peace @ DPRK (North Korea)
We were there when peace began in the Korean Peninsula. 

From 18-22 September 2018, invited by the DPRK Committee for the Promotion of International Trade (KOMT) in conjunction with the DPRK Ministry of External Economic Relations (MEER), our 5-day fact-finding Business Mission was designed to empower and facilitate Singapore companies, businesses, investors, CEOs and entrepreneurs to explore and grow market opportunities and possibilities in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

This historic First Business Mission to DPRK, invited by the DPRK Committee for the Promotion of International Trade (KOMT) in conjunction with the DPRK Ministry of External Economic Relations (MEER), was an exclusive opportunity for discovery and inspiration to uncover and leverage on the diversity that
DPRK can add to the global marketplace of international trade and development.

We returned with a bundle of US$2+ billion worth of investment projects, possible the largest number by any business missions from Singapore to any countries.

We are however prohibited by current sanction laws to secure any of the projects in any formal contractual manner.  In the meantime, potential Korean partners and the participants shall continue to exchange ideas and suggestions on the possible nature and outcome of future project ventures.  The following are some of the investment-ready ventures:

·         Korea International Exhibition and Convention Complex (KIECC) – US$250m
·         30-Storey 5-Star Hotel in the KIECC Complex – US$150m
·         Tourist Bus Station – US$5.55m
·         Petrol Filling Stations – US$2.64m
·         Pelotherapy Clinic – US$1.8m
·         Offshore Seafood Farm – US$2.4m  
·         Seafood Distribution – US$500,000
·         Wonsan-Mt Kumgang Railway Renovation – US$324m
·         Brewery – US$53m
·         Songdowan Hotel Renovation – US$105m
·         Haean Hotel Hotel Renovation – US$25m
·         Mokran Restaurant Renovation – US$2.6m
·         Tanphung Restaurant Renovation – US$700,000
·         Health Service Complex – US$4.55m
·         Department Store Renovation – US$7.4m
·         Wonsan Lighting Apparatus Factory – US$2.75m
·         Wonsan Hotel Facilities Factory – US$2.13m
·         Development of a Singapore Industrial Park – US$600m-US$1billion

The Koreans expressed great interest, enthusiasm and eagerness to work with Singaporeans, whom they regard as the more experienced, modern and knowledgeable alternative to their current abundance of PRC Chinese businessmen already in DPRK.  Indeed, most of our Business Mission participants have richly diverse and vast hands-on business and management experiences in several ASEAN countries, as well as China, Japan, Europe and the USA.        

On 19 September 2018, DPRK Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea President Moon Jae-In signed the Pyongyang Declaration which also affirmed their earlier April 2018 Historic Panmunjeom Declaration. Together, they declared to the world to abide thoroughly by and faithfully implement the 2 Agreements and to take practical measures to transform the Korean Peninsula into a land of permanent peace. 

We arrived on the previous day at the modern Pyongyang FNJ Airport in the late afternoon, to be greeted and processed by a smiling and friendly Immigration Officer, and worked our way through Customs after baggage claims.  Modern baggage handling equipment and security screening sensors made for a smooth clearance.  Laptops and mobile phones were also carefully inspected for objectionable pictures and apps. The airport clearance was significantly faster and more efficient than in Beijing, Vietnam, Bangkok and Dubai (recently visited).   

Several senior staff from our Host KOMT warmly welcomed and greeted our arrival as we exit Customs. The 25-min road trip through Pyongyang streets saw many people walking along the roads, while others packed the numerous electric tram buses. There were also many cars, but no traffic jam. Traffic lights and ample road-signs make Pyongyang city indistinguishable from any developed modern metropolis. Many beautiful public parks, with landscaped bushes and flowers have gatherings of people with children and families, exercising or otherwise just resting by themselves or with loved ones.  Also saw so many students in their common sailor-like uniforms (Primary School) and white blouse (shorts)/blue skirt (trousers) co-ordinates for older kids.  The streets and roads were clean and litter-free, unlike some parts of China, Hochiminh city, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and many European cities.

We finally arrived at the 4+ (but likely 5-star) Potonggong Hotel located beside the famous Potonggang (or Pothong) River which winds itself through Pyongyang City.  Check-in was instantaneous with passports in exchange for room keys.  Well-lighted air-conditioned rooms have bottled water, large beds with clean sheets, clean towels and usual toiletries, shower heads and a bathtub with hot&cold water, bath robes and the indispensable furry slippers.  Tap water is also drinkable.  A kettle with cups and glasses provide abundant water for the unquenchable. The colour TV with remote controls has mostly Chinese channels and also English news channels like Aljazeera and RT.  No BBC or CNN or Fox. Free internet connection is available via an Ethernet box in the room, while WIFI is available at the hotel lobby for just US$1.60 for 10 minutes.  What more can a tired traveller ask for?   
Breakfast has everything, ranging from eggs, toasts, noodles, fish, vegetable, rice, soups, milk, juices, coffee/tea … etc like the usual breakfast at any great hotels in the world. 

Investment and Financial Regulatory Framework
The next day, our meeting began with an overview of the financial investment regulatory framework and the applicable laws.  To the potential investor, they have sufficient details and are comprehensible in their English versions.   A complete guide to all the applicable investment laws can be found here.  They addressed the following key concern areas of potential investors:

1)   Types of Enterprises and Foreign Ownership Permitted;
2)   Contract Laws and Related Regulations;
3)   Industrial and Enterprise Dispute Settlements; and
4)   Movement of Funds and Profits Repatriation.

Mission participants were provided with the latest DPRK Investment Guide which detailed over 114-pages with information and address these key concerns of investors.  Their specific applications would however be customised to specific projects.  During discussions, there were sincere assurances of flexible accommodation to the needs of particular investors.  Some specific projects were used as illustrations. 

Wonsan-Mt Kumgang Opportunities
A special treat to the Business Mission was the presentation on Wonsan-Mt. Kumgang International Tourist Zone (“the Zone”) by the Project Director from the Korean Economic Development Agency responsible for its development. The Zone is a massive tourism project around Wonsan, a coastal city about 180 km from Pyongyang City.  It includes the areas of Wonsan, Masikryong Ski Resort, Ullim Falls, Sogwang Temple, Thongchon and Mt. Kumgang and covers an area of some 400 km².  In 2015, DPRK announced plans to invest US$7.8 billion (S$10.6 billion) into the Zone by 2025 with the aim to attract 1 million foreign tourists.  There are more than 30 feasible investment-ready projects ranging from US$50,000 to US$500,000 to US$4-US$100millions.

We have at least 12 feasible investment-ready projects for Singaporean consideration in the post-sanction Wonsan Zone. They include renewable energy eg wind turbines, new hotel developments and renovation of older hotels, repairs and upgrading of a mountain railway system, café and restaurants, petrol service stations, lighting factory, plastic goods factory, seafood restaurant, folk martial art centre, tourist bus station, fish farm, fitness centre and several others.   

The Zone has approximately 140 historical relics, 10 sand beaches, 680 tourist attractions, 4 mineral springs, several bathing resorts and natural lakes and more than 3.3 million tons of mud with therapeutic properties for neuralgia and colitis.

New Exhibition & Convention Centre + Hotel
We visited the 14th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair in the ultra-modern 
Pyongyang’s Three Revolutions Exhibition Hall.  Just over 320 companies, with many Chinese companies were selling everything from car batteries to "kangaroo essence" health pills. Several other countries are also represented.  For example, a Russian medical technology company is selling heart-beat monitoring wrist watches, and the kangaroo capsules, supposedly good for the health, are being sold by a New Zealand company. Businesses from a few more countries, such as Italy and Cuba, are there seeking business opportunities, but not selling anything. The local products displayed were mostly clothing, traditional medicines, cosmetics, processed foods and beverages. Several DPRK’s main electronics makers also showed off their brands' flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

Daily visitors to the 14th Autumn International Trade Fair exceeded 14,000 and nearly 45,000 during the entire event. The Korean International Exhibition and Convention Company (KIECC) have plans for a new exhibition cum convention complex which includes a 30-storey 5-star international hotel.  It would triple the exhibition area to accommodate 1,200 exhibitors from the current 400 capacity.  The estimated investment in the exhibition hall, without the hotel and convention centre, is US$250 million.  The entire project would likely require an investment of about US$400m-US$500m.    

Negotiations with some Chinese investors were recently terminated by the Chinese. We did not ask for the reason.  The opportunity for a Singapore-KIECC JV hereby presents itself for post-sanction agreement and execution.  The KIECC in fact invites the Singapore DPRK Business Mission to participate in the new IECC project because they knew and have seen Singapore’s experience and management expertise in mounting huge conventions and exhibitions at the Singapore Expo complex and Suntec Convention City Centre. 

Nampho Development Region - Waudo-Jindo SEZ (JINXIN Park)
We travelled to Nampho, DPRK’s largest port city on the West coast, about 50 km South-West of Pyongyang. Nampho is also the 2nd largest city of DPRK with a population of about 1 million and occupying a land area of 1,280 sqkm.  Nampho Port has deep waters and linked with over a hundred foreign countries and regions, mainly China and ASEAN, for commercial trade.

The Jindo SEZ is a Special Export Processing Zone (SEZ) covering 1.8 km2 and spans part of Jindo-dong, Hwado-ri and Waudo-guyŏk.  It has a Co-operation Period of 50 years.

JINXIN International Industrial Park

During discussions, ideas and suggestions included the possibility of a Jindo-Singapore (JINXIN) International Industrial Park, which may later combine with the Waudo SEZ for about 3 km2 of land.  The land is currently a salt plain, like the original 30 km2 land of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City (SSTEC). 

The Jinxin International Industrial Park, when realized as a JV with MEER, or other Korean agency when sanctions are eased to permit such JV, could look at the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) as a possible development model.  JINXIN shall however develop our own models with interested investors leveraging on Singapore’s industrial park experiences.

The costs of developing JINXIN have not yet been evaluated.  The removal and replacement of several hundred meters of top soil soaked with brine would add to the initial cost. Land preparation for the small 3 sqkm after that could add investments to perhaps US$200m, assuming the government takes care of the infrastructural work of connecting roads, water, gas and power.  Over time, investments by foreign companies may add several US$ billions once JINXIN is opened for business.  JINXIN may become Singapore’s flagship in DPRK, post-sanctions, in the same way that VSIP was the catalyst for Vietnam’s industrial development since 1996.  

Mangyongdae School Childrens' Palace

The Mangyongdae School Children's Palace (or Mangyongdae School Children's Palace) in Pyongyang is a public facility managed by the Korean Youth Corps in DPRK where children ages 6-17 years old can engage in extra-curricular activities, such as learning music, foreign languages, gymnastic, calligraphy, computing skills and sports.  Established on 2 May 1989, it is the largest of the numerous palaces dedicated to children's after-school activities. It is situated in Kwangbok (Liberation) Street, in the north of Mangyongdae-guyok.

The Mangyongdae School Children's Palace has 120 rooms, a swimming pool, a gymnasium and a 2,000 seat theatre.  It has 5,000 students attending various classes on a 6-monthly cycle.  The classes are free but not every child chooses to enrol.  No compulsion, a few actually dropped out after a couple of months.  Visitors were treated to a concert on a moving stage in the beautiful and spacious theatre.

Juche National Ideology

The tremendous effort and resource commitment to develop core cohorts of Korean youths beginning at 6 years old is clearly a visionary strategic and calculated initiative to create her own future based on its Juche주체ideology and seen in the practice of her unique socialist principles of independence, national economy and self-defence.  “Juche” translates to “self-reliance” in Korean.

And as peace envelops the Korean peninsula, the reality of an independent, self-confident, modernising and prosperous DPRK is already within the sights of this generation.   

The following pictures shall speak for the activities in the Palace.

Ragwon Department Store

Ragwon (Rakwon) Department store is mainly used by foreigners and well-off Koreans. “Ragwon” means “paradise” in Korean.  It is an upscale department store that only accepts western currency in Pyongyang, North Korea.  About 90% of products sold here are foreign products. The Rakwon Department Store tour also breaks from North Korean tourist tradition, as the DPRK’s shopping malls are usually not open to foreign visitors. The agency hopes that, by entering a department store only meant for local people, visitors will learn and understand more about their lives.

Sentosa Business Centre – Singapore’s Beachhead
Dinner on the 3rd Day brought a pleasant surprise.  The restaurant in a 4-storey building also houses a barber shop and hair-salon, massage parlour, 3 types of spa, sauna and a small gym.  In a Conference Room on top floor, we found a Singapore’s very own “Sentosa Business Centre”.  It was intended to be a haven for Singapore businessmen to interact with venture partners.  The Korean General Manager Mdm Ju told us that the building was invested by a Singaporean businessman who was no longer able to be involved personally in the venture due to sanctions and has left it to her management.  

Singapore therefore has already established a beachhead at the Sentosa Business Centre in Pyongyang.  Post-sanctions, Singapore businesses can find ready partners who are Singaporeans already in DPRK, Koreans and other foreigners, at this business club. 

Singapore has only a small window of opportunity to leverage and realise the investment goldmines offered to us as described above.  The future would belong to those who are ready for it, not those who are waiting for the skies to be blue and clearer.      

We departed Pyongyang in an expectant mood, reflecting and contemplating the sea of ready opportunities within our grasp, if not for the sanctions.  The plan is to return soon in March-April 2019 to look deeper into specific investment opportunities to realise and transform them into Singapore’s international competitive advantages and for the benefits of Singaporeans at home.  

Anyone interested in the above projects or be part of the next DPRK expeditions or just interested in DPRK can contact me: miko.heng@gmail.com