North Korea has announced its plans to hold an international blockchain and cryptocurrency conference in its capital city, Pyongyang, from April 18th to April 25th, 2019.
As mentioned on the korea-dpr.info website, “international experts” from the blockchain and crypto industry “will gather for the first time in Pyongyang to share their knowledge and vision, establish connections” and engage in discussions regarding potential business opportunities in the isolated nation.
Conference attendees will take part in a number of events that have already been scheduled. Those looking to attend the blockchain conference must arrive on April 18th, so that they may be given a hotel room.
Visiting North Korea's Central Library, & Sensitive Border With South Korea
Conference participants will not only be discussing crypto and blockchain-related developments with members of the North Korean community, but they will also be visiting (on the second day of their arrival) the Great People’s Study House, a giant library that is often featured during media coverage.
The Pyongyang-based library notably serves “as a grand backdrop to … speeches, military and nuclear parades, and carefully choreographed spectacles celebrating national holidays." After checking out the library, conference attendees will pay a visit to the Museum of the Korean War, the Pyongyang University of Foreign Languages, and a secondary school.
On day three of their visit, program participants will take a trip to Kaesong, a historic city located in the country’s North Hwanghae province. The main purpose of this visit will be to explore Panmunjom - which is where the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement was signed (to “pause the Korean war”).
Special Visit To Tower Of Juche Idea (Before Conference)
On day 5 of their 7-day trip, conference attendees will visit the Tower of Juche Idea (a monument in Pyongyang which is named after the ideology of Juche - first proposed by Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s first leader). After visiting the Tower of Juche Idea, the attendees will be taken to see the Kim Il Sung square, and then to a skate park, bowling center, shooting arena, and finally to a shopping mall.
On day 5 and 6 (April 22nd and April 23rd), the invitees will take part in the blockchain and crypto conference - which will be held at Pyongyang’s Science and Technology Complex. On day 7 (April 24th), the invitees will take a trip to the nation’s Information Technology Company and the Daedonggang Beer Factory.
Business Meetings WIth "Counterparts"
On day 7, the attendees will also sit through North Korea’s “general business presentation” and may engage in “private business meetings with interested counterparts.”
On day 8 (the final day), the invitees will go to the nation’s airport, so that they may return to Beijing, China - which is presumably where everyone will gather in order to take a direct flight to (and back from) North Korea.
The total cost for the conference is €3,300 (appr. $3,760). Notably, the conference will not be open to South Korean, Japanese, and Israeli citizens. Journalists are also prohibited from attending.
Guidelines For Conference Attendees
The website that reported North Korea's upcoming conference has warned: "Any mass printed propaganda or digital/printed material against the dignity of the Republic is not allowed." The site's FAQ section noted:
The DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) can be considered the safest country in the world. As long as you have a basic common-sense and respect for the culture and belief of other nations, you'll be always welcome and enjoy like thousands of friends we've been hosting for the past 28 years and engaged in cultural, sports, science or business relations.
North Korea Bypassing International Sanctions With Crypto
As CryptoGlobe reported in late August, North Korea had announced that it would be holding a blockchain conference in October of 2018. However, it seems that the conference might have been rescheduled as there are no confirmed reports of it actually taking place at that time.
As covered, North Korea is among several other nations that have reportedly tried (and may still be trying) to bypass US-led political and economic sanctions by using cryptocurrencies. More recent reports have even found that North Korea could be using cryptos to acquire fiat currency (USD) - in order to finance its controversial nuclear program.