It’s difficult to overstate the significance of this. First, it means there probably won’t be famine in the spring, because merchants won’t wait forever for the state to set prices. Eventually, they’ll sell that food for something of value.I can not say this enough: If you are interested in North Korean goings-on, OFK should be a daily read.
But the rise of large-scale food smuggling right under the noses of the Anjŏnbu also portends needed economic and even political change. It means that the system is now so frayed and corrupt that smugglers can move goods of any kind into North Korea in quantity. Today, of necessity, the cargo is food. Tomorrow, the cargo will be consumer goods. But next will come information — books, bibles, pamphlets, radios, computers, flash drives, cell phone repeaters that can be lashed to remote treetops, and camera phones. It opens up the possibility for a North Korean opposition to galvanize, organize, coopt and corrupt regime officials, and effectively challenge the power of the state.
Friday, January 29, 2010
OneFreeKorea update on the Great Currency Obliteration of 2009
Over at OFK, Joshua Stanton provides an excellent overview of the latest news coming out of North Korea regarding the disastrous currency revaluation that occurred late last year. The ending is particularly interesting: