Small-scale entrepreneurship in the DPRK

The Daily NK recenty published some interesting “factoids” on the DPRKs creeping marketization.  Highlights below:

Real estate
“The sale of houses has become a natural occurrence in regions with the exception of farming areas, and even realtors, or “brokers,” have surfaced. Such a reality is rooted in the mass-scale provision of residential homes after the mid-90s, places where the famine victims had lived.”

“In the real estate market in Chongjin or Hamheung, one-story houses with two rooms and a kitchen are being sold for 2,000~3,000 dollars downtown. Recently, a new class called “donjoo” (which means the master of capital or money), which acquired wealth by hanging around the corrupt elite class, has been buying and selling luxury apartments in high-demand areas.”

“This does not mean that a change in the legal system has allowed the private ownership of real estate to be officially acknowledged. People can just change the name on the permit to live in the state houses by giving bribes to government affiliates within the relevant departments.”

Small-scale manufacturing
“In fishing villages, 12 and 14-year old middle-school students are employed for 1,100~1,300 won per day to make nets. This surpasses the 2,000~3,000 won salary for teachers and 10,000 ~ 15,000 won for the most coveted job as a laborer in state-operated coal mines.”

Read the full article here
Real Estate Business Appears in North Korea
Daily NK
Kim So Yeol
8/7/2008

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