Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Markets are a way of life in North Korea

80 to 90 percent of North Koreans buy their daily necessities in the market. And each household has an average of one trader, making it unlikely that the regime will succeed in reverting to a centralized economy, an academic says.

Han Ki-bum, a North Korea expert and former National Intelligence Service agent in Seoul, citing interviews with North Korean defectors and sources in the North, wrote, "Some traders especially promote South Korean goods. Especially when young customers approach, these merchants tell them, 'Look at the [South Korean] brand. It's the best. Buy it or regret it later.'"

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