Monday, October 31, 2011

N. Korean Govt squeezing the last dollar out of its people

Statue of Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang
Next year, it will be Kim Il-Sung's 100th birthday (if he was alive, that is). Since Kim Il-Sung is The Eternal President of the Republic, and the Father to all North Korean people, this is definitely going to be a huge, huge year for North Korea, at least symbolically. Not so surprisingly, North Korea has set next year as the milestone to become the greatest nation of all (강성대국의 해), despite the fact that the whole nation is crumbling down economically, socially, and structurally. Add the failure of currency fix, international sanctions, and the fact that they put most of their tax money buying expensive things and feeding military, this has become financially and practically impossible.

So where do they come up with the money for all the festivals and events? Easy! Squeeze the hell out of the already-starving North Koreans.

North Korean government is forcing all government agencies to collect foreign currency and taxes as much as they can in whatever way possible. Exploits include buying dollars and other foreign currency from citizens with North Korean money, which has lost virtually all value because of the failure of currency overhaul. Others include forcing citizens to sell gold, selling cellphones at ridiculously high prices, kidnapping old folks from nearby nations and collecting their pension (as reported by a Japanese Magazine, AERA), asking South Korean government to pay them dollars instead of giving them snacks.

According to some that visited North Korea recently, citizens are complaining that the government has been taking away every last penny out of them in ways nobody can even imagine. When will this nonsense end?

Sources : NEWSIS : 北 '외화매집' 혈안…"꽃제비 정권" 불만팽배
               Daily NK : "北, 외화 확보에 혈안…주민 주머니 털기도"

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