Skip to comments.Korea: The King Is Dead, Long Live The King
Posted on 01/07/2014 4:59:54 AM PST by Lower Deck
Despite North Korean hostility towards a market economy, the country has become more and more dependent on it. Surveys of refugees in China and South Korea indicate that over 80 percent of North Korean buy or sell (or do both) in the free markets and most North Koreans now conduct half their economic activity via the markets. The introduction of some market economy (mainly in the form of legal markets) in the last decade has made more goods available, to those who could afford them. Thousands of new "middle class" entrepreneurs have been created. This was the first time, since 1945, you had non-criminal North Koreans with wealth who did not work for the government. For example, foreign smart phone manufacturers indicate that over two million relatively low end (under $200 each) smart phones have been sold inside North Korea in the last year. Someone up there has money and is willing to spend it. You also have more corruption up north as there are always government officials willing to get things done (including things they were supposed to get done) for an additional fee. Now there were more people with more money willing to pay larger bribes to officials willing to take greater risks. While many North Korea officials saw these new entrepreneurs as a threat to the power of the police state, the real threat came from the growing corruption and unreliability of the security services up north. Kim Jong Un sees this corruption as a threat to his rule and he is right. But getting rid of the corruption risks harming the markets and the wealth they bring to an economy that desperately needs it.
(Excerpt) Read more at strategypage.com ...
Apparently the 67 year old aunt of Kim Jong Un is dead. Kim Kyong Hui was the only sister of Kim Jong Uns predecessor Kim Jong Il. She has been a widow since the December 12th execution of her husband Jang Sung Taek and was not happy about that situation. Kim Kyong Hui was not mentioned during the public denunciations of Jang Sung Taek and there was an announcement that she had been appointed to a senior (but largely honorary) post. Kim Kyong Hui had not been seen in public since last September and the rumor was that she had suffered a heart attack. She was known to be still depressed about the suicide of her daughter in 2006 and that she drank a lot. Thus she probably died of natural causes but no one is sure when. It might have been before the execution of Jang Sung Taek.
So having allegedly helped her nephew turn her husband into puppy chow, she didn't hang around long enough to enjoy it.
Liberals used to complain that Cuba was fully capable of having a vital economy, except that big, bad old United States wouldn’t trade with them, and that was the only thing that kept Cuba from being one of the world’s leading economies.
Re: The ski “resort.” Think the Dear Leader will launch a campaign to host the Winter Olympics? Of course when it is awarded eslewhere he can claim some sort of persecution and use that to threaten the US.
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