Visa Free Rason Tourism for Chinese Citizens

Chinese tourists will have visa free access to the border regions linking Yanbian Autonomous Region, Rason Special Economic Zone and Russia, according to a report originating with Jilin Radio that surfaced in South Korean media today. The report doesn't give an date for implementation, but does state that the previous tourism agreement governing the border region (signed in 2010) will be streamlined.  It still takes 10 days for a Chinese traveler to get permission to visit Rason. This process will drop to 2-3 days.

If accurate, this could go a long way towards boosting tourism in the SEZ. After all, a Beijinger or Shanghaiian might well be more willing to spend the money to visit the region if they can get two countries in the same trip. At the risk of overgeneralizing, Asian tourists seem eager maximize passport stamps above all else on international tours. This desire could be effectively exploited if Rason and Russia's Primorsky Krai province coordinate their marketing.

Also, now that the road to Rason is paved, the ease with which Chinese gamblers can reach the Emperor Casino and Hotel greatly increases and arguably makes the destination seem more normal and therefore attractive. One wonders if the casino's fleet of crimson humvees, once needed to whisk high-rollers along the laborious dirt road from, will now be replaced by Mercedes or Lexuses. (Lexi?)

Last year, the SEZ experimented with self-drive tours for Chinese citizens, though there has yet to be any follow-up on it.

For westerner tourists thinking of visiting Rason, we recommend Krahun, a company that has had a presence in Rason for over a decade and know the region exceptionally well.

Singapore Tightens Sanctions on North Korea

Singapore has introduced new legislation to tighten sanctions on North Korea. Choson Exchange's work, as an education initiative, is not prohibited under these sanctions. We do not conduct any business with North Korea and we actively monitoring these developments to ensure compliance. For more information on these new legislation, read this article in Today.

Congratulations to CE Advisor Peter Drysdale

Our advisor, Peter Drysdale, was recently conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at Australia National University.

The award recognises Peter’s dedication and contribution to the academic community. But what sets Peter apart, as Vice Chancellor Ian Chubb said at the graduation ceremony, is the influence he commands, with his name instantly recognised ‘in the corridors of power and the hallways of knowledge’ around the region. ‘In a way matched by few other academics in the world’, he said, ‘[Peter] has combined scholarship, policy development, regional institution-building and the mentoring of an extraordinarily large number of students from Australia and across the region’. The ANU’s new Chancellor, former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, described Peter as ‘a living national treasure’ and expressed his good fortune at having been able to turn to him for advice when he was in government.

Another Warm Welcome to Ms. Seung Hee Nah

I had the opportunity to talk to Ms. Seung Hee Nah, who is actively involved in the Korean American community and a passionate believer in supporting Koreans everywhere. She is interested in introducing the work of international financial institutions to North Koreans and her expertise spans healthcare, education and investments in transitional economies. She recently retired from the World Bank and now Chairs the Korean-American Sharing Movement. Her bio is below and she will join us as an Advisor: Until her early retirement in 2009, Ms. Nah spent 23 years at the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”), a member of the World Bank Group. Ms. Nah’s work at IFC included corporate finance advisory services, particularly in the context of privatization assignments in Eastern Europe and Kenya in the early 1990s, and analyses and processing of new investment projects in East Asia in the mid-1990s. Her assignments included business development and analyses of investment proposals in East Asia, mostly China and Korea, and portfolio project management in various Asian countries. During the 1998 financial crisis, Ms. Nah represented the IFC in Korea on a special assignment coordinating IFC’s response to the crisis situation, liasing with various government entities, opening the IFC office in Seoul, as well as searching for candidates for IFC investments in various industries in Korea.

In the early 2000, IFC created the Health and Education Department, which Ms. Nah joined. She took the responsibility for formulating the department’s business development strategy for East Asia. She initiated unique market survey projects for the private education sector in South Africa and China (private universities) as part of her strategy work. She led the IFC team for structuring and negotiating investment packages for the Franco-Vietnamese Hospital, the first large scale, wholly foreign-owned private sector hospital in Vietnam, and the RMIT Vietnam International University, the first foreign-owned private university in Vietnam. She also worked on a private university project in Cambodia. Later, she led the team that analyzed performances of 18 different IFC investment projects in the health and education sectors in 10 different Sub-Saharan African countries. Ms. Nah later joined the IFC’s Special Operations Department and managed work-out cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan, Mexico, and Egypt.

Before coming to the U.S. as a student, Ms. Nah worked as an accountant at several private sector companies (including the Korea Investment and Finance Corporation, which later became the Hana Bank) in Korea.

In 2007, her first book, “Establishing Private Healthcare Facilities in Developing Countries: a Practical Guide for Medical Entrepreneurs”, co-authored with Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu, was published by the World Bank Institute.

Ms. Nah is currently serving as chairperson of the Board of Directors of KASM (Korean American Sharing Movement), an IRS Section 501c(3) non-profit organization, of which she has been a member since its inception in 1997.

Ms. Nah holds an MBA and a BBA from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.

CE Staff Development - Korean Scholarships

The Korean Government Scholarship Program(KGSP) for Graduate Students provides international students with the opportunities to conduct advanced studies at higher educational institutions in Korea in order to promote international exchange in education and mutual friendship between countries.

1. Quota for the Scholars

o General: 3 persons(USA)(all majors of general graduate schools) o The Ministry of Unification’s Invitation: 2 persons(USA)(international relations major only (specifically, Korean peninsula affairs) o Overseas Korean Adoptee : 35 persons(Worldwide)(no restriction to majors)

2. Duration of KGSP

o Master’s : 3 yrs. (01.09.2010 ~ 31.08.2013) - 1 yr. of Korean language + 2 yrs. of Master’s o Doctoral : 4 yrs. (01.09.2010 ~ 31.08.2014) - 1 yr. of Korean language + 3 yrs of Doctoral o Integrated Master’s & Doctoral : 5 yrs. (01.09.2010 ~ 31.08.2015) - 1 yr. of Korean language + 4 yrs. of Integrated Master’s & Doctoral

See here for more details. This is of course for South Korea!

Thank You For Supporting Us!

Thank you for your support for Choson Exchange's work supporting Business, Economics and Legal training for high-potential young North Koreans. We try to run an operation with as little overheads as possible, but we still face significant logistical costs for our work and your support goes a long way. Thank you for your payment. Your transaction has been completed, and a receipt for your purchase has been emailed to you. Please feel free to reach out to us at CEteam@chosonexchange.org and give us your feedback or to let us know about your support.

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