Prostitution on the Rise

North Korean People's Daily Life 4.
Jung Kwon Ho  |  2008-07-02 11:01
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A U.S. dollar is approximately 3,400 North Korea won in Sooncheon, South Pyongan Province early in June.

Dandong, China -- The national food distribution system is little more than a memory in North Korea. The era has arrived when individuals have to live on ability alone.

North Korean citizens have lately been thinking that I must make money by any means, and have been doing any business without hesitation, from simple labor and housekeeping, to smuggling, prostitution, and other crimes.

Resident K of Sooncheon, South Pyongan Province said, People say that in North Korea, all the rabbits [honest persons] died of hunger, deer [those who escaped from the North] ran away, and coyotes and wolves [criminals] remain. You can see that citizens in North Korea will do anything they can to make money.

Types of job increased and varied.

Besides doing business in the jangmadang, Mr. K picked carrying luggage as his primary work. He explained that There are many porters around stations, bus stops and jangmadang regions to carry traders and individuals luggage in their handcarts. The fee for one trip is around 1,000 North Korean won.

He added that Around stations and bus stops, they can earn more than 100,000 won per month because they can carry luggage three or four times a day and also there are many traders.

Those who are wealthy employ private workers to repair their house or to produce briquette for their businesses. The daily pay for the worker is over 5,000 won, because producing briquette needs skills and is very demanding.

According to him, some cadres employ housekeepers. He said, The authorities strictly prohibit employing housekeepers, so they cannot overtly do so. Although the salary is different from house to house, it is around usually 100,000 won.

Those who cannot get a job in cities go to rural areas. Mr. A said that Some farmers reap over two tons of corn in private fields located on sloping inclines of mountains, so they employ others.

He continued that In this case, you can be supported for meals and paid one kg of corn a day as the wage. The urban poor go to the countryside to get by in this way when food shortages come.

Women are most vulnerable.

In such a poor situation, the most vulnerable people are women. Mr. B, who came from Jeongju, North Pyongan, relayed that Prostitution has increased during the food crisis.

Around stations in big cities, you can see many pimps who are affiliated to inns, he added.

He said that They approach pedestrians, euphemistically saying I am selling a bed, or selling a flower. In big cities, they set up massage shops in the Chinese style for prostitution, which costs 2-30,000 North Korean won.

Prostitution is increasing among women and even minors in vulnerable classes because it makes them so much money.

In addition, he explained that Sometimes, women attract people in order to steal things. Consequently, the numbers of crimes in which women are involved are increasing.
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