Economic rationality in the DPRK

Writing in the Daily NK, guest author “Benji” and an astute reader offer us this little glimpse of economic rationality in North Korean culture.

benji-pektu.jpg

Commenting on the photo above, “Benji” notes:

“A North Korean soldier in front of an amazing view from [Mt. Pektu].  Minutes later, he was to offer me one of his cigarettes.”  

An astute reader made the following comment:

“The cigarette from the Soldier probably wasn’t the kind offer it seemed to be. North Koreans use cigarettes as currency. When they see a western tourist they offer their substandard north korean cigarettes in the hope of receiving western thus more valuable ones in exchange, or if they are especially lucky chinese Double Hapiness

The pictures and story are worth reading here:
Sacred and Stunning Mountain, Baekdu
Daily NK
“Benji”
1/22/2009

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