North Korea: Ski resort update. North Korea is scheduled to open its first multi-million dollar ski resort on Thursday, 10 October, complete with ski runs, ski lifts, resort chalets and sleigh rides.
Comment: Reports from the resort area indicate it is far from ready for an opening. News images from September show shells of buildings still under construction and describe poor roads and other infrastructure. The two ski lifts under construction were described as basic. And snowfall is still two months away.
In the North Korean communist way of doing things, however, every major project is completed ahead of schedule officially, even if it is never completed in fact.
China-North Korea: A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry fielded the following question about North Korea's activation of the Yongbyon reactor and provided the official response.
"Q: It is reported that the ROK has recently confirmed that the DPRK has restarted the Yongbyon nuclear reactor. The United States, Japan, and the ROK are holding a joint naval exercise on 10 October. The DPRK claims that the tension on the peninsula is escalating again, and the KPA commander has issued an emergency order demanding that the units be in a state of awaiting orders. How does China comment on the present situation on the peninsula?
"A: China has all along persisted in achieving denuclearization of the peninsula, in preserving peace and stability there, and in resolving the DPRK nuclear issue through dialogue and consultation; this stance is clear-cut. Achieving denuclearization of the peninsula and preserving peace and stability there accord with the common interests of all parties, and joint efforts are required from all parties. In the previous period, under the joint efforts of all parties, some signs of easing and positive factors appeared in the peninsula situation, which all parties should cherish."
"We appeal to all parties concerned to focus on the overall picture, maintain coolness and restraint, do more things that help to ease the situation, maintain the momentum of dialogue and engagement, and create conditions for giving impetus to an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks, and bringing the DPRK nuclear issue into a trustworthy and sustainable dialogue process."
Comment: The answer repeated the standard Chinese position. The one departure is the reference to "the previous period," which seems to imply that the Chinese judge a new period has begun.