Global Glimpse

A Student Friendly Guide to the News of the World

North Korean Choco-craze

When people think of empty calories such as those in the recently sought-after choco pies in North Korea, we think of cheap, fattening and overall unhealthy. To the people of North Korea, however, these treats are delicacies, selling at as much as a 2000 percent of regular market value. One South Korean factory owner described North Korea’s reaction to choco pies in one word – “ecstasy.”  He also described their reactions as “sad” because something that costs no less than fifty cents and is a commonplace item outside of the regime of Kim-Jong-Un is so expensive in North Korea.  The craze has been heavily profitable for those who run the dangerous game of selling on the black market, a crime usually punishable by death or life in a heavy work camp. However, the extremely large profit has drawn multiple people to the industry. For many, this is an opportunity to open lines of communication and break stereotypes of North Korean-American hate.  According to artist Jin Jo Chae, “They had only associated the US with evil, and the fact that they could love something that the US had produced — specifically Coca Cola — was an eye-opener.” For many living in North Korea, the idea of these new products means a lot more than just a new treat hitting the markets; it means something as simple as a silver dollar sized pie creating a market for globalization.  For the neighbours to the south, it means a renewed interest in their isolated brothers. According to a report by the South Korean Committee of Commerce, interactions between the North and South have been more and more frequent as the demand increases.

Man rescued after 13 months at sea

Tom Hanks popularized being stranded at sea in the hit movie Castaway, where he was stranded on a desert island. In a bizarre twist of a real life version of the movie, Mexican resident and El Salvador national Jose Salvador Alvarenga claims to have been stuck at sea for more than a year. Authorities are still trying to decipher the validity of his claim. His teenage companion died four weeks into the voyage “because he refused to eat raw birds,” reports Alvarenga. The tragedy of losing his only friend took a heavy toll on him, and he pondered what to do next. 12 months after killing a bird to eat, he spotted some trees swam towards an island where native people found him and turned him over to the authorities. He can be seen in an official photo giving thumbs up as he departs from the government ship and into the waiting ambulance. The US ambassador to Mexico, Tom Armbuster, reported that he seemed well, all things considered. “He’s in much better shape than one would expect after such an ordeal,” Armbruster said. He is expected to make a full recovery from his dehydration and malnutrition. He is also expected to return to Mexico after his hospital stint.

Flooding in the UK Causes Massive Damages

The worst flooding in decades is happening in England. It has authorities racing to respond to the damages. The main concern is preserving homes because there is as much as three feet of standing water in some places. The prediction of unusually high winds is also causing havoc with some residents, such as Somerset resident Sam Notaro. He stubbornly refused to abandon his estate. “We were backed into a corner. It was low so we pushed some soil up, and then you’ve got to keep going, haven’t you?” he said. He isn’t alone in his struggle. A massive deployment of Royal Marines was approved in early February to bolster defenses for residents in order to preserve their livelihood. They braved waste-high water and high winds to help and support the residents who stayed. British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his support and empathy for all who were affected in a press address in early February. He vowed continued support for those affected by the flood, and said “money is not an object” when asked about the cost of rescue efforts. ​International support has been pouring in as well as many countries reach out to the affected areas.