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Chinese whispers

Associated Press reports this morning that China is emphasising its good relations with North Korea.

AP reports that:

The Foreign Ministry said State Councilor Dai Bingguo met a North Korean group led by Kim Yong Il , secretary of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party and alternate member of the Political Bureau.

Dai (surely he had a Welsh granny? -ed) says that he was confident that under Kim Jong Un, North Korea will continue to move toward building a prosperous country.

Nothing particularly remarkable I suppose. However I decided to nip over to the North Korean News Agency to get their take on the visit. They haven’t quite caught up yet so something may appear tomorrow. In the meantime though the agency updates us with some fraternal and neighbourly musings on their partners to the south:

Perhaps a wee look at a map of the area crystallises the international issues here:

Beijing and Pyongyang are 500 miles apart.

However, elsewhere on the DPRK site they show their more tender side by reporting on Malaysian moothie king, Lang Blaw Sook:

A Pain in the A**e!

This comes via Ananova.

Park officials in China have found a way to stop people from hogging their benches for too long – by fitting steel spikes on a coin-operated timer.

If visitors at the Yantai Park in Shangdong province, eastern China, linger too long without feeding the meter, dozens of sharp spikes shoot through the seat.

The spikes are too short to cause any serious harm – but long enough to prevent people from sitting on them comfortably.

Park bosses got the idea from an art installation in Germany where sculptor Fabian Brunsing created a similar bench as a protest against the commercialisation of modern life.

“He thought he was exaggerating. He didn’t foresee that a very practical country like China might actually use them for real,” said one critic.

Parks in China suffer from chronic overcrowding at weekends when millions of people try to escape the country’s teeming cities.

“We have to make sure the facilities are shared out evenly and this seems like a fair way to stop people grabbing a bench at dawn and staying there all day,” said one park official.

It’s not known if the concept will be transferred to sunbeds in Mediterranean holiday resorts popular with German tourists.

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