More DPRK market (jangmadang) footage

shoes.JPGAgain, while trapsing through the jungle of YouTube videos on North Korea, I stumbled on this clip shown on Japanese television which was secretly recorded in a North Korean market.  Since my Japanese ranges from rusty to nonexistent, I do not know where it is.

What does this clip teach us?  That some North Koreans are becomming more sophisticated shoppers/ consumers–looking to the outside world to get a sense of what’s fashionable.  Chinese entrepreneurs are hard at work building brand loyalty for western companies that are not yet aiming for the DPRK market.  Chinese knockoffs of Nike, the North Face (mislabeled “the Nice Face”), and fake designer apparel are all on display.  I imagine no North Korean citizen expects to ever see these goods in the local Public Distribution Office. 

Japanese narration highlights (thanks, Tony):

  • Are the North Koreans familiar with these western brands? Some are familiar and others are not so sophisticated.
  • These items sell really fast.  You can buy a Rolex Watch (knock off) for 800 Yen (appx. $8 or appx 2,400 North Korean Won).
  • The narrator contrasts lifestyles.  He compares shoppers that can afford these market goods with others in the same village who cannot.

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