Plea to strengthen domestic consumption contradicts cadres’ taste for foreign goods

first_img News SHARE News North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is emphasizingthe need to focus on domestic manufacturing and consumption of homemade goodsto counteract the nation’s unhealthy reliance on imports. In actuality,however, high- level Party cadres continue to show a preference for foreigngoods when it comes to everything from home appliances to beverages. In a telephone conversation with the DailyNK on January 29th, a source from North Pyongan Province said, “These days, theauthorities are trying to use the [state-run publication] Rodong Sinmun andlectures to stimulate the consumption of domestic goods. However, these pleasare contradicted by the behavior and purchasing patterns of the cadres, whohave continued to buy foreign goods. This trend underlines one of the wayscadres live a double life, saying one thing while serving in their officialfunction, and then behaving a different way when they are not.” This was substantiated by reports from twoadditional sources: one in Pyongyang and another in South Pyongan Province. He continued, “Upper level cadreswear foreign clothes, use expensive, German [or what they believe to be German]home appliances, and snap up Russian and Japanese goods when given theopportunity. The clothes, appliances, furniture, and foods that these cadresget from foreign sources using bribe money exceeds the amount they get usinglegitimate means.”   The Cuckoo brand rice cooker made in SouthKorea has continued to be imported through China’s Dandong City through customsat the North Korean border town of Sinuiju. It is an item that is expresslyforbidden by customs regulations, but the cadres openly use their authority tofacilitate the inward flow of the popular rice cookers, the source said, noting, ”As Seollal [Lunar NewYear] approaches, Chinese goods will continue to be imported legally, but SouthKorean products will continue to be smuggled in as well.”Meanwhile, he added, North Koreanauthorities are lecturing and emphasizing how important it is to be anindependent economy. This is in response to the impending sanctions fromAmerica and the broader international community following the regime’s 4thnuclear test. By continuing to rely on outside nations and failing to develophome grown economic power, North Korea’s enemies will succeed in theirobjectives, authorities argue. However, by shoring up local resources andeconomic independence, sanctions and blockades will be less effective. That iswhy the regime is encouraging residents to contribute to the production andconsumption of domestic products.   “It doesn’t matter how much Kim Jong Unexpounds on the importance of economic independence. North Koreans already havethe mentality of preferring foreign goods. It is not likely to wither away justlike that. Even three-year-old children know that even the General [Kim JongUn] has an affinity for foreign products. In witnessing such hypocrisy, thepeople can do nothing but laugh,” the source asserted.When purchasingforeign goods, cadres are said to like more than just products from China, which are largely used as foreign-currency earning methods by trading companies or sold in the markets to consumers. In fact, Chinesefood products are regularly criticized by cadres and ordinary residents like for “containing loads of chemicals and being unclean.” “The donju [newly wealthy class] generallydon’t let Chinese coffee touch their lips, preferring South Korean brands ifthey have a choice. Failing that, they’ll go with Russian varieties. In termsof what bribes they would like to receive during the Lunar New Year, the donjusaid that South Korean products are best. Those thinking about giving Chineseor North Korean products should probably think again,” he concluded. Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaders Facebook Twitter AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Plea to strengthen domestic consumption contradicts cadres’ taste for foreign goodscenter_img North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again By Daily NK – 2016.02.01 11:05am News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR NewsEconomylast_img read more