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North Korea Requested Verification of Nuclear Status of U.S. Forces in…

first_img North Korea Requested Verification of Nuclear Status of U.S. Forces in Korea at Six Party Talks Facebook Twitter News News News Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak SHARE RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China AvatarKim So Yeol There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest North Korean delegates at the Six Party Talks requested the right to verify whether or not the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea have nuclear weapons, when the six participating countries discussed the issue of verification of North Korean nuclear programs. Radio Free Asia (RFA) on the 16th reported that the reason a joint statement could not be released was down to differences in opinions between the U.S. and North Korea on the verification of the U.S. Armed Forces nuclear capability in Korea, according to a quotation from Christopher Hill, recorded at a briefing to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Hill revealed that North Korea continues to focus an unwelcome attention on the IAEA’s participation in the verification activity and there are currently negotiations with the U.S. with North Korea in the process about which kind of measuring apparatus will be used and what specific facilities will be investigated, according to the RFA report. It reported that, at the current time, the issue of access to North Korea’s nuclear waste storage facilities, by which the nuclear reprocessing situation can be clarified, has still not been agreed upon. By Kim So Yeol – 2008.07.17 2:52pm last_img read more

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Currency Mess Leading to Greater Repression

first_img News Changchun, China — The North Korean authorities continue to crack down on the private economy following the currency redenomination, as exchange rate instability and rising prices continue. Predictably, this has led to extremely high rates of inflation and forced the authorities to ramp up their reign of terror. A Daily NK reporter met with two North Korean refugees in China on the 15th who described the social atmosphere, “Although the authorities are executing and arresting rule breakers, foreign currency dealing keeps happening. The stronger the regulation the authorities adopt, the more skillfully people avoid it.”According to a source from Pyongyang, the authorities recently publicly executed two women from the Pyongcheon district of Pyongyang on suspicion of circulating foreign currency. The source said they were killed as an example to others during the crackdown on foreign currency usage. On January 5th, in Soeho-ri, part of the Heungnam district of Hamheung, three women were also executed publicly on charges of receiving and circulating Yuan and dollars from fishermen and the crews of other ships returning from international voyages. A source from South Hamkyung Province explained, “When fishermen land their catch, they sell it directly to Chinese fishermen for Yuan. This is because if they submit the catch to the North Korean Fisheries Department, they won’t see any benefit.”The executed women were foreign currency dealers. They exchanged the Yuan and dollars which the fishermen got from the Chinese for won. “Following this incident, inspections of all fishing boats belonging to the Seoho Fisheries Department were initiated and their captains placed under investigation,” the source claimed.Despite official regulation, demand for foreign currencies is increasing everywhere, according to sources, and the country is suffering from serious inflation.One from Yangkang Province said on the 14th, “The foreign exchange rate is skyrocketing. A few days ago, one Yuan was around 20 won, but now it is over 30 won and rice is more than 200 won per kilo now.”In the case of Yangkang Province, on the 9th, one Yuan was worth 20 won and price of one kilogram of rice was 100 won, but by the 15th one Yuan had become more than 30 won and one kilogram of rice more than 200 won. By Lee Sung Jin – 2010.01.19 5:54pm AvatarLee Sung Jin Currency Mess Leading to Greater Repression RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News SHAREcenter_img News US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again NewsEconomy Facebook Twitter There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) last_img read more

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Luxury Villa Construction Booming

first_img There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest SHARE News By Kim Tae Hong – 2010.10.26 7:02pm US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again Luxury Villa Construction Booming RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR [imText1]An unusual level of remodeling and reconstruction of official buildings and special villas is going on across North Korea, according to sources. One such source inside North Korea reported today that after demolishing the No. 15 Official Residence, located in vicinity of Kim Jong Il’s current office in Pyongyang, the authorities began construction of a new building in July, a claim which has been confirmed by satellite images. The No. 15 Official Residence was where Ko Young Hee, Kim Jong Eun’s mother, used to live. The location is linked to Kim Jong Il’s office and other official buildings by underground tunnels fitted with an electronic train. When Kim Jong Eun was a child, he also lived there. However, the source said he believes that the prime real estate may be undergoing a change of use.The source also reported that in December, 2009, Kim Jong Eun ordered the destruction of another special villa in Kyungsung, North Hamkyung Province, a place famous for hot springs, and the building of a new conference hall and villa with imported construction materials in its place. Approximately ten kilometers of road and rail construction has also been going on so that the area can be reached more conveniently, the source added. According to the source, around 1,200 soldiers have been mobilized alongside residents of Chongjin and Hoiryeong for the work. In addition, each household in the area has had to provide ten buckets of rocks for construction and pay 500 won for their delivery. Regarding this work, North Korea Reform Radio reported in July, “During construction of Kim Jong Eun’s special villa in Kyungsung, the authorities diverted the flow of a stream flowing through Haonpo-ri in Kyungsung, burying farms and angering residents.” Reconstruction of another villa and conference hall at the coastal Songdowon Resort in Wonsan, Kangwon Province is also ongoing. This construction is reportedly a gift for Kim Jong Il on the orders of Kim Jong Eun. The construction consists of two large, circular buildings. One of them has a lot of separate rooms, while the other has just one big hall, according to rumors. [imText2]Therefore, the source assumed that the finished building might be a similar to Kim Jong Il’s Seoho Villa, the No. 72 Villa in Nakwon, South Hamkyung, which is rumored to have one room extending 100m below the ground. A South Korean architect estimates that the construction of the three facilities and railroad will cost a total of around $180 million dollars, an amount which, according to the current international market price of corn, $300/ton, is enough to buy 600,000 tons of corn, enough to feed 2.3 million North Koreans for two months. According to documents the South Korean military and intelligence authorities provided for submission to a hearing of the Diplomacy, Commerce and Unification Committee of the National Assembly by lawmaker Yoon Sang Hyun, there are 33 luxurious villas in beautiful mountainous areas and along the coasts of North Korea. Since 2008, 13 out of 33 sites have been under maintenance work, according to intelligence. There are also 28 stations for the exclusive use of Kim Jong Il across North Korea. In North Korea, in general, around two or three facilities are remodeled per year, but the current degree of widespread construction and remodeling suggests that Kim Jong Eun may be set to use the villas in the future. On this, an anonymous expert with a national policy institute suggested that it does not portend a scaling back of the Kim family ruling style. “Seeing Kim Jong Eun’s luxurious life pattern,” he said, “he seems set to follow his father’s conventional method of dictatorship.”[imText3][imText4]center_img AvatarKim Tae Hong News News North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) NewsEconomy Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Psyops Prep Reflected in New Military Unit

first_img Facebook Twitter By Mok Yong Jae – 2011.01.06 4:22pm AvatarMok Yong Jae RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) have announced that they are to establish a “Psychological Warfare Unit.” According to JCS yesterday, the new unit is part of restructuring to realize effective command and prepare for the shift of wartime operational control from the U.S. in 2015.The Psychological Warfare Unit has an operations unit, psychological warfare unit, martial law unit, and overseas deployment unit within its structure.Evaluating the move, experts say it seems to be a way to ensure full readiness for psychological warfare against North Korea.During a phone interview with The Daily NK, Baek Seung Ju of the Center for Security and Strategy in Korea Institute for Defense Analysis explained, “The establishment of Psychological Warfare Unit should not be taken as the South Korean government getting actively involved in psychological warfare against North Korea. However,” he added, “since North Korea constantly makes military provocations, we are making arrangements for psychological warfare readiness.”Lee Sang Hyun, the Director of the Security Studies Program at the Sejong Institute commented, “The South Korean government only made preparations for psychological warfare against North Korea; they did not actually do it. It was passive. The establishment of this psychological warfare unit can be seen as preparation to carry out psychological warfare against North Korea more actively.”However, Lee added with some frustration, “As North Korea’s military provocations are intensifying, the military is not looking to psychological warfare, which is the most effective utilizable tool against North Korea.” Regardless, he conceded, “Since psychological warfare against North Korea must not lead to an attack from North Korea nor escalation, control of the level of psychological warfare is required.”Meanwhile, JCS also announced that the ratio of Army, Navy, and Air Force within the Joint Chiefs of Staff will change from 2.4:1:1 to 2.2:1.1:1, decreasing Army personnel and increasing that of the Air Force for the reinforcement of cooperation and to display combined fighting strength. Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion center_img Analysis & Opinion SHARE Psyops Prep Reflected in New Military Unit Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

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A Defector Director’s Destiny

first_img A Defector Director’s Destiny By Mok Yong Jae – 2011.07.14 1:19pm AvatarMok Yong Jae Analysis & Opinion SHARE Analysis & Opinion Facebook Twitter [imText1]Winter Butterfly, the directorial debut from defector Kim Gyu Min, opened in 7 cinemas across South Korea last Thursday. It is being shown mainly in small indie cinemas, though it made brief appearances at a number of bigger theatres at the beginning of the week. One of those few locations that is showing it is CGV at Technomart in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, but unfortunately that entire building experienced a sharp drop off in clientele after mysterious tremors led to an emergency evacuation last Tuesday. Perhaps for that reason, the film was watched by only 200 people there in its first five days.Despite these limitations, Kim, who hails from North Hwanghae Province, seems happy as he meets The Daily NK at the offices of the new film’s distributor, SmileCine.“I’ve had lots of calls of support since the film opened five days ago. Most of them have been encouraging phone calls saying ‘I enjoyed it’ or ‘You really captured the situation in North Korea’. A priest from one church even asked whether he could show it to his congregation,” Kim says with a smile.“As a director, my hope is that everyone in Korea who is over 15, meaning old enough to see it, does so, but even if just a few people do, then they’ll get to know the real situation in North Korea and tell other people about it, and the level of interest in North Korean society will gradually increase,” Kim points out, adding, “The actual number of watchers isn’t important.”The film Kim originally planned to make as his debut would not have had this much trouble attracting viewers; it was a commercial film and had already been written and cast. Kim says it was his guilty conscience that ultimately forced him to chart a new course and turn a scenario he came up with in his university days called ‘Illusion’ into the opening scene of Winter Butterfly.It was what he calls his ‘defector’s destiny’ that caused it, his need not to forget the reality his North Korean brethren live in that surpassed his desire to get his own name out. Kim describes the film as “A true story about what is happening to the north of the Republic of Korea. People in South Korea have this kind of filter that they apply to North Korea; they won’t accept any more stories about the situation than their filter allows. Through this film, I wanted to transmit the real story to them intact.”“Why did the media here make such a fuss about Kim Jong Il visiting China,” he suddenly asks. “I guess they don’t have any interest in the ‘clover boy’ who starved to death. I just wanted to tell the stories of the twenty million people who are suffering under this man whom the people in South Korea are so interested in, Kim Jong Il.”“I’ve heard that sometimes, very rarely, a butterfly falls under an illusion about which season it is, so comes out of its cocoon in winter. I saw the people of North Korea in that image,” he says, turning poetic. “If they had been born in South Korea they could have had the chance of a happy life. Instead, like a winter butterfly, they die without having a chance to flap their wings, only because of where they were born.” Kim explains that he set as his objective the projection of a realistic image of North Korean society, and asserts that 70% of the film is made up of things he experienced and saw for himself. His meticulous direction portrays outdoor markets, childhood tree felling, official indifference, and all in highly believable detail.This was no easy task, as Kim laments, saying, “There were lots of scenes where Jin Ho, the main character, goes to the mountains to gather firewood, but we couldn’t find a mountain in this country without trees. Eventually and with great difficulty we did find one, but we couldn’t convince them to let us film there because it was a target range for artillerymen to practice with live ammunition. So, in terms of mountain scenes, we couldn’t perfectly recreate North Korea.”At the other extreme, he says he rates the scene where Jin Ho’s mother prays beneath portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and begs them to save her son as the most powerful in the film.“I think through that prayer scene, people can get a readout on how North Korean people actually think. I used to think Kim Il Sung was God, too. That’s North Korean people precisely,” he stresses.Conversely, Winter Butterfly is so realistic in its portrayal that many people may find it hard to believe, perhaps thinking that surely North Korea is not really that bad. There is particular controversy about the ending, which is likely to shock people, to put it mildly.On that, Kim explains, “I made the movie with that ending in mind right from the start. Even the actors found it hard to come to terms with. Watchers are astonished that not even the great love of a family is immune to the terrible circumstances of a place like North Korea. For that reason, a few people seem repulsed by the movie.”Kim made the film hoping to spread the word about the reality of life in North Korea, but he is now feeling the limits of what can be achieved by non-commercial films, which don’t tend to draw in huge crowds. For that reason, he identifies it as the task of films about North Korea to unearth topics that can grab viewers.Kim has now finished the screenplay for another film, Last Mission, which he hopes to turn into a commercial film as a means of increasing his access to viewers. He says the next step is to find financing. It is the story of a member of North Korean Special Forces who infiltrates the South, but it ends in a journey of self-discovery.At the same time, he says there is a subtitled version of Winter Butterfly, one which he plans to take to as many international film festivals as possible. He says, “I am planning to release it in the Japanese and U.S. movie markets in February next year.”For a man who has only just taken his first steps as a director, it is an exciting time for Kim. Only time will tell whether he can achieve his dual aspirations; becoming a box office success and a storyteller, revealing the reality of North Korea to the world.[imText2]center_img Analysis & Opinion RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Analysis & Opinion Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

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The Leading Ladies of North Korea

first_imgNews Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak [imText1]‘Leading Ladies of North Korea’ is the 35th cartoon drawn exclusively for Daily NK by Gregory Pence. A creative and talented cartoonist, Pence now lives in Seoul, where he is keen to keep shedding light on political, economic and human rights problems in Northeast Asia.South Korea has a long history of TV talk shows involving panels of individuals discussing life, the universe and everything. Recently, ‘On My Way to Meet You’ became the latest incarnation of this style of program, one that has since garnered great popularity for the way its panel of defector women so adeptly humanize life in North Korea in a way that books, music and even films often cannot.These North Korean women are truly becoming South Korea’s leading ladies. And who knows? One day maybe they will be joined on stage by another leading lady from Pyongyang… By Daily NK – 2012.09.12 3:58pm News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest SHARE AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] center_img North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China The Leading Ladies of North Korea News Facebook Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News last_img read more

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Por qué el Banco Central de Corea del Norte eliminó a…

first_imgNews Desde el día 1 de agosto , Corea del Norteha eliminado a Kim Il Sung de los billetes de 5000 won. De acuerdo a fuentesinternas en el país, los nuevos billetes muestran en el anverso la casa deMankyundae, lugar de nacimiento de Kim Il Sung, y en el reverso la Exposición Permanente de Amistad Internacional,en el monte Myohyang. Hastaentonces, cada vez que Corea del Norte sacaba un nuevo billete, siempre poníael retrato de Kim Il Sung en los billetes de gran valor nominal. Sin embargo,la imagen ha sido eliminada de los billetes de 5000 won, hecho que ha generadodiversas opiniones. Desdelos primeros días tras asumir el poder, Kim Jong Eun ha imitado los pasos de suabuelo, más que los de su propio padre, Kim Jong Il: el modo de caminar,vestuario y corte de cabello, incluso la forma de aplaudir. Ha invocado lanostalgia de los norcoreanos por Kim Il Sung para compensar por su falta deexperiencia como líder. Por este motivo, la remoción de la imagen del “GranLíder” es un hecho inaudito. Kim Jong Eun ya no necesita estar a la sombra deKim Il Sung y puede gobernar por derecho propio, ahora que ha tomado el controldel Partido, del gobierno y de las fuerzas armadas. Esto ocurrió a fines delaño pasado, cuando Kim Jong Eun asumió estos poderes, tras la purga de su tíoJang Song Thaek, y la eliminación de miembros del antiguo gabinete.Porotro lado, a través de la remoción del retrato de Kim Il Sung se vería unintento propagandístico por mostrar una imagen nacional más abierta y ‘normal’de Corea del Norte, país aislado de la comunidad internacional. Unespecialista en asuntos norcoreanos ha comunicado a Daily NK que “Kim Jong Eunbusca alcanzar logros económicos, y al mismo tiempo dejar atrás la era de laindustria pesada de Kim Il Sung y Kim Jong Il, para concentrarse en laconstrucción de apartamentos en Changjeon St, en Munsu Water Park (un parqueacuático ubicado al este de Pyongyang) y en Masikryong Ski Resort (una estaciónde esquí localizada en la provincia Kangwon). Si bien él no puede negar oficialmentea Kim Il Sung, sí puede introducir algunos cambios para resaltar su imagen delíder”. Comoya se ha señalado, cada vez que Corea del Norte emite papel moneda, el billetede mayor valor incluye la imagen del Gran Líder. En relación con esto, se haobservado que existe la posibilidad de que un nuevo billete (de 10,000 won) seaemitido, el que llevaría el retrato de Kim Il Sung. Lamercantilización está aumentando en Corea del Norte y, con ello, la inflación.En este sentido, la emisión de un billete de valor más elevado parece ser unaopción inevitable. Con la caída del valor del papel moneda norcoreano, pareceque este es el único camino que le queda a Kim Jong Eun para dar resultadoseconómicos. Porotra parte, con respecto a las reacciones de la ciudadanía, la fuente alinterior del país comunicó que se vieron “reacciones de incredulidad” enalgunas personas sobre la posibilidad de que el billete de 10,000 won seapuesto en circulación. “ No creo que eso (la creación del nuevo billete) suceda”. Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak Por qué el Banco Central de Corea del Norte eliminó a Kim Il Sung de los billetes de 5 North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China Facebook Twitter News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest News SHARE By Kang Mi Jin – 2014.08.04 2:47pm RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] Porúltimo (y como ya ha sido mencionado previamente), existiríaun afán propagandístico enel hecho de mostrar el lugar de nacimiento de Kim Il Sung en el anversodel nuevo billete. En efecto,  la casa deMankyundae es considerada como parada obligatoria para los visitantes en Coreadel Norte. Por otro lado, el reverso muestra la Exposición Permanente de Amistad Internacional,que reúne una colección de regalos otorgados a Kim Jong Il por visitantesextranjeros en el país. Este lugar también forma parte de la ruta turística enCorea del Norte, y es usado para promocionar la “vida modelo” de losnorcoreanos. last_img read more

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Military ordered to gather its own rice

first_imgCitizens who thereafter did not contribute the required quota of rice were excluded from what was left of the state distribution system. State organizations were also mobilized to collect food for the military, and those who did not satisfy the requirements were stripped of their political status and other perks. As a result, many had no choice but to eat significantly less in order to contribute their quota to the state. US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] SHARE Sources in North Korea are reporting that the authorities are preparing another push to collect rice for the armed forces this fall. However, in contrast to previous years, this time the order has been issued to the military itself. Ordinary citizens have in the past been assigned the task of gathering these provisions, but the responsibility this year has fallen on military conscripts. But even these provisions were insufficient to feed the entire military. During the mid 2000s, the government hoped to solve the food shortage by allowing military members to cultivate small private gardens for personal consumption. The recent directive, however, seems to be an attempt by the authorities to absorb some of these stocks as well.  “Is there any other country on Earth that does not feed its own military? I thought the army was supposed to be defending our country, but instead they’re turning us into an army of farmers,” one serviceman told the source.The North Korean regime began emphasizing the importance of feeding its military as a national priority after the Great Famine of the mid 90s. Kim Jong Il introduced the concept of songun (military-first) ideology, stating that “our nation’s armed forces must never go hungry!” Facebook Twitter The source says that soldiers are complaining about the plan, especially given the government’s failure to distribute goods, even to the military in recent times.  “Military leadership handed down orders last month detailing the quotas required to be collected by the local 12th Corp. These orders include amounts covering every division and brigade in the entire 12th Corp, which must be collected and presented to division leaders in the coming season,” a source in Ryanggang Province informed Daily NK on October 18.“It is quite absurd that military personnel have to collect these provisions themselves. And such orders were handed down in all provinces, covering all military divisions across the country.” News center_img NewsEconomy News Military ordered to gather its own rice North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest By Daily NK – 2017.10.20 2:29pm News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR According to a source in North Hamgyong Province, military members are complaining that they “must begin large-scale farming from next year” in order to meet these new demands, calling the plan just another “government scheme.”last_img read more

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North Korean merchants get creative to keep money flowing in winter

first_imgVarious North Korean packaged beverages. According to an inside source, beverages produced by state factories are sold throughout the year. Image: Daily NK North Korean merchants get creative to keep money flowing in winter Unification Media Group (UMG): It’s time for another edition of Market Trends, where we analyze the week’s latest economic updates. We’re here today with reporter Kang Mi JinKang Mi Jin (Kang): Last week, the people of North Korea were required to begin fulfilling compulsory orders to contribute manure to the state, a mobilization that typically runs through April. In order to procure humus soil – a replacement for manure – residents had no choice but to dig in hilly areas, causing damage to the environment. This has historically caused difficulties in progress towards the country’s reforestation goals.    UMG: Interesting. What else has come to light recently?Kang: I also have some sad news. As some of you may remember, there were devastating floods in North Korea’s North Hamgyong Province in 2016. One resident whose home received extensive damage has become homeless and wanders around the marketplace. This individual lost four members of his family to the flood, including his wife, and wasn’t even able to recover their bodies. Fortunately, he escaped the sudden floods because he had left the house at the time to guard the family garden. The man says he is unable to live in the same house where tragedy befell his family. So he wanders around the markets aimlessly.   News UMG: That’s very sad news indeed. Kang: But, switching tracks, according to recent communication with an inside source, packaged beverage products are selling well in North Korea. There are all manner of products available, including sweet drinks made with fruit or wild berries and other flavoring agents. In addition, packaged water has emerged as a top seller in both summer and winter.  The availability of a wide array of beverages during different times of the year marks a departure from the past, where specific flavors were restricted to certain seasons. Marketization – the increased participation by private actors in the economy  – has brought a change here, and North Koreans now say that “the seasons are irrelevant” when it comes to selling things in the markets.UMG: Can you explain what this means on a practical level for North Korean merchants? Kang: It means that the merchants no longer have to specialize in just one product depending on the season. For instance, an inside source with experience in the beverage industry said that merchants who sell North Korean-style ice cream and water in the summer are changing tack to match the season and selling boiling hot water in the winter. The hot water is used in a variety of ways by consumers. Merchants themselves will often buy the hot water, and put it in a water bag that rests against their body and warm themselves up by drinking it over the course of a few hours. In the afternoon, there are merchants who grind boiled soybeans to make heated soy milk. Others bring a lunch box from home and use the boiling water to pour over soy or dried radish greens for a quick bowl of soup in the morning. And there are merchants that sell seafood who need the hot water to thaw their fish.  Unification Media Group (UMG): Are beverage sales in the summer more profitable? Kang: Yes the profits are not as great for boiled water, but this is also true for other sectors. Business is tough in the winter. But North Koreans are very determined to work to earn their living. They will use any method to produce a revenue stream. Some merchants engage in additional business practices during lean times to stay afloat.  Daily NK’s sources have reported that, facing a lack of customers in the market, some merchants are going directly to their customers in train stations and servicha [delivery vehicle] stops to sell hot water and soup. During lunch time, the merchants make good money by selling hot water because the demand is high. News News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR North Korea hikes “party contributions” Russia-based workers must pay by 30-55% North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) Facebook Twitter SHARE By Daily NK – 2018.02.14 3:29pm All prices shown in KPW and current as of February 6, 2018. Data: Daily NK AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store Newslast_img read more

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Renewed economic ‘self-reliance’ goals in N. Korea insufficient to overcome sanctions,…

first_imgAnalysis & Opinion Kim Jong Un gives ‘field guidance’ at a backpack manufacturing company in Pyongyang on January 5, 2017. Image: Yonhap News Agency Renewed economic ‘self-reliance’ goals in N. Korea insufficient to overcome sanctions, say experts Domestically-manufactured products continue to gain market share over their Chinese counterparts in North Korea’s local markets as the authorities ramp up their emphasis on self-reliance. However, whether or not the policy to shift economic responsibility to domestic industry is sustainable under ongoing international sanctions remains to be seen. “In markets all over the country like in Hyesan and Sinuiju, domestically-manufactured products have become more popular than the Chinese-made ones because the quality is better and the prices are lower,” a source in North Pyongan Province told Daily NK on March 21.A source in Ryanggang Province added, “It used to be that people preferred the higher-quality Chinese products, but recently the authorities have supported domestic light industry through their self-reliance policy, leading to improvements in quality.”Domestic products that have gained in popularity are said to include snack foods, bread, shoes, socks, clothing, backpacks, school supplies, toys, and cosmetics. However, North Korean consumers still seem to prefer foreign-made electronic items like cell phones over the domestic alternatives, which are considered to be outdated in terms of features and quality.  The North’s efforts to improve light industry manufacturing began in 2015, after Kim Jong Un stated during the annual New Year’s address that “all factories and businesses must energetically shed the disease of importation and realize a change to domestic production of raw materials and resources.” Kim first mentioned the “self-reliance-first” policy by name in his 2016 New Year’s address, stressing the need to ‘improve the lives of the people and the country’s economic development.’ Analysts believed that Kim was signalling a desire to move the country away from its economic overdependence on China.In his 2017 address, Kim boasted that domestic production of light-industry raw materials will lead to better quality products and a more diverse array of goods available in the markets. Kim then proclaimed in his 2018 address that the country’s “numerous light-industry factories in sectors including textiles, footwear, knitwear and foodstuff industries … made proactive efforts to propel the modernization of several production lines by means of our own technology and our own equipment.” Experts believe that Kim Jong Un’s shifting attention towards “self-reliance-first” is evidence of the North’s belief that domestic manufacturing can sufficiently compensate for the country’s losses incurred by international sanctions.  “The North Korean authorities are taking action towards (improving) distribution of domestic goods before the economy gets worse,” said Lee Geun Young, Professor at the Yanbian University Department of Political and Public Administration. “They want to create better products that people are willing to spend money on as alternatives to the Chinese options.”Lee believes that the authorities see it as a win-win, where “the government profits directly from the sale of the goods and public opinion of the regime improves due to the lower prices.” Lee also said that this “perhaps lends to Kim Jong Un’s confidence in his policy of self reliance.”However, many analysts do not believe these sorts of policies alone are enough to completely make up for the foreign supplies of goods cut off by sanctions. “Their policy of self-reliance may have some limited positive effects, but it cannot address the most fundamental problems with their economy,” said Cho Bong Hyun, a senior researcher at the IBK Economic Research Institute. “They may improve their manufacturing capabilities, but they can never achieve 100% independence in terms of raw material and base machinery production,” Cho added. “They will eventually have to turn back to foreign imports, but this will be difficult under continued international sanctions.” AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? By Daily NK – 2018.03.23 4:39pm Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion SHARE Analysis & Opinion Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

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