Market stuff

The North Korean government’s attempt to regulate and close wholesale markets has been well documented.  Reports at the time had indicated inconsistent levels of success.  If recent reports are true, however, market participants might have won a temporary reprive from Pyongyang’s edicts.  But the North Korean government might have successfully closed one market in the town of Nyongwon(녕원: 39.8288444°N, 126.5459556°E), or at least forced it to temporarily relocate, by flooding it.



The problem seems to have been caused by the water level maintained by the Taedong River Dam in Tokchon (덕천).  Maybe the level of water in 2007 was unusually high.  There do appear to be several other facilities that are flooded.  However, we do not have enough satellite imagery to determine what happened.

On a more positive note, we do have satellite imagery of the formalization of the Sinsang Market (신상: 39.6518138°N, 127.4163115°E).



The latter image above was taken on Christmas Eve 2007.

Pyongyang’s Hyongjiesan Market (형제산구역: 39.0539763°N, 125.7224°E) seems to have sprung up in one place but was temporarily relocated to a more formal facility before moving back to its original location. I do not know how to explain these moves.




Pyongyang’s Sadong Market (39.0035985°N, 125.824281°E):


Here is a clandestine video of the Sadong Market (Filmed in January 2009).

And what does the North Korean government think of these markets?  They are not happy with them.  This BBC video clip does not offer much new information about the DPRK but it does deliver at least one  official willing to be interviewed on the DPRK’s economic policies (at the 11:50 mark).


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