Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Sweet Infiltration of North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il may face a more pernicious challenge than either a "preemptive strike" by the United States, or a power grab by generals eager to fill the power vacuum created by his illness.

Think Choco Pie, the thick wafer-like confection, served in the Kaesong Industrial Complex as a daily dessert for the 40,000 North Koreans who toil for 100 South Korean companies with factories in the complex.

North Korean workers, and the friends and family members for whom they save their daily treats, may salivate over Choco Pie, but it's giving a severe stomach ache to senior officials fearful of the infiltration of South Korean culture in all corners of their Hermit Kingdom.

Choco Pies, and other favorite South Korean cakes and candies as well as instant coffee are "sweet symbols of capitalism".

[Excerpt of an Asian Times article by Donald Kirk]

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