Capitalism vs. Socialism, Crackdown at Shinuiju

Daily NK
Kwon Jeong Hyun

Since February, the Party began inspections at Shinuiju customs in an attempt to punish and prosecute customs officers that were requesting irrational demands to the people. In particular, authorities conducted strict investigations over customs officers in charge of rail cargo.

A source in North Korea said, “Authorities identified that an employee of a trading company in Shinuiju, Kim Jung Man (pseudonym) had secretly transported about 1000 tons of copper to sell in China over the past 3 years” and added, “It seems that organized groups incorporating Chinese customs officers have been engaging in smuggling.”

He said, “He (Kim) disappeared instantly. He is probably sentenced with a serious punishment. The atmosphere is melancholic as 6 other customs officers were also caught.” In addition to this, bag inspections are conducted and at the end of every day, customs officers must report the total amount of goods that passed through as well as receive feedback.

“Not only is the central authorities conducting inspections, the National Safety Agency has sent 3 pair teams to run investigations on customs at the station, ports and bridges” he said.

Inspections were conducted until April 15th, Kim Il Song’s birthday. Though the most part of North Korea’s social regime is corrupt, customs officers have received the greatest complaints and have the worst reputation for bribery. It seems that North Korean authorities have used inspections at Shinuiju customs as an example to set public order over the city of Shinuiju.

The moment inspectors enforced control over customs, the reduction of cargo trucks entering North Korea was quite noticeable. On average about 50-60 trucks passed through customs daily. Today only 20 are in operation of which Chinese cargo trucks are transporting the goods. Overall, the amount of trade has returned to the days of the past.

Further, investigations are being held throughout all of Shinuiju city. Authorities, the Safety Agency and investigating teams have united to confiscate items such as foreign CD’s, capitalist-style clothing and computer programs. Also, any devices that could be used as a means of foreign communication such as TV’s, radios and mobile phone are also being strictly regulated.

The source said, “Authorities are enforcing strict control over Shinuiju city to use it as a confrontation with capitalism and socialism” and “An order was made to protect the border gateway and that the former guard post (Shinuiju) must not be shaken.” The source confirmed that the goods caught at customs included computer software, CD’s, and foreign books including the bible.


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