Friday, March 08, 2013

Korean Fact of the Day: Price of Rice in Pyongyang

After its third nuclear test, the price of rice in Pyongyang jumped from 5,500 won per kilogram to 9,000 won per kilogram. The cost of other groceries likewise increased by around 70 percent. 

This jump is likely the result of China's stricter enforcement against smuggling across the China-North Korea border. China began cracking down on smuggling as an unofficial sanction against North Korea's nuclear test, which severely restricted the flow of goods from China to North Korea, particularly rice. This is a hopeful sign that China may participate more fully in the new round of sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council. In the course of issuing the new round of sanctions, South Koreans diplomats say they have detected a new sense of resolve from the Chinese representatives.

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  1. It really surprises me China has waited this long to cooperate. After all, other than a few more miles of dirt, what does N. Korea have that China wants anymore? China's government has never pretended to be benevolent. It started it work with the U.N. and the U.S. because it wants to have what industrialized nations of the west have, money. N. Korea is in a stand down with a country that China does business with, money making business. Political ideology, you think that can still be it? Why, are men that stupid and stubborn? Entrenched Cold War ideology has kept the rest of the world from putting a straight jacket on this insane child of country. Excuse my political incorrectness but it's just plain retarded. What I find even creepier is that the only reason these stand downs occur is the somehow visceral need humans have for a patriarchal social order...and then there's money.

    1. North Korea is a buffor area for China. China doesn't want to have an American army base right next to Chinese-Korean border which would happen if North and South Korea were united.
      Plus, strict sanctions against North Korea would only cause more North Koreans escape to China, and North Korean illegal immigrants is the last thing China would want.

  2. I think North Korea acts as a buffer between China and the strongest armies in the world - US, Korea (as well as a buffer between China its former enemy/invader Japan). I can understand China's reasoning in supporting the North Korean government to date, even if I wish otherwise.

    The thing that I find upsetting is -- why the restriction on rice? North Koreans are starving as it is. Why not have more restrictions on industrial raw materials like oil?

  3. Got it understood, the buffer, with nuclear ambitions. Guess China is counting on Japan taking the most fallout. I'm not arguing that isn't the strategy but why they think a buffer is still necessary has everything to do with Cold War mentality. If I were China the new leader would give me a big huh or two. Lets hope the punk doesn't have a bad case of ADD. Dennis Rodman...ha one of the few survivors of Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab...there is a certain special irony to being an American.


    "China's foreign minister said Saturday that Beijing would not abandon North Korea, reiterating China’s longstanding position that dialogue, not sanctions, is the best way to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear weapons.

    At a news conference during the National People’s Congress, the foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, suggested that Chinese support for tougher United Nations sanctions against North Korea should not be interpreted as a basic change in China’s attitude."

    Now there is the thing, "listen to what they say but give more weight to what they do."
    So if there are any moves that in effect will lead to end the NK regime coming from north of the Yalu, its not going to be done as a favour to Park so that she can say under her watch the Korean Penisular got unified...

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