Awareness of North Korea’s Market Economy is Important

[imText1]“The North Korean society is caught in a situation where the sense of “making money” cannot be understood. Amidst these circumstances, North Korea may be confronted with critical problems when faced with development and reform.”

The person that comes to mind when South Koreans think of capitalism and a free market economy is the representative think tank of Korea, President Kim Chung-Ho of Center for Free Enterprise who spends much of his time researching such issues.

On entering university, new students to economics take classes on “Strategies to make money” and, “The rationale behind making money.” This is what President Kim is deliberating; How to simply inform North Korean citizens on the concept of money.

In the past, the Centre for Free Enterprise has made publications, conducted researches and trained businesses to aware the public on the concept of capitalism and the market economy. However, the Roh Moo Hyun Administration’s various policies on the ground of socialism including tax measures have only made situations worse. In opposition to this political trend is the Center for Free Enterprise and its leader President Kim who is trying to spread the concept of the market economy.

Extracting money from the rich and distributing it to the poor is a leftist view

President Kim contended “The government has a leftist view that money should be deprived from the rich and given to the poor” and strongly evoked the direction of the Roh government’s ideology, “The underlying disposition of the current government is leftist and it’s core political measures left also.”

Simply put, President Kim enlightened that “leftist” in fact signified the “autonomy of the proletariat.” He added, “The government’s leftist policy is a strategy of populism, a mere attempt to gain popularity.”

President Kim reasoned that President Roh’s measures on tax were the decisive factor which denoted the administration as a leftist government. President Roh said “The disparity of income tax cannot be only 20%,” a remark which stems from a leftist notion that only the rich should pay tax.

Undoubtedly, all citizens receiving a government service should be obliged to pay tax. President Roh’s concept of filling the government’s budget with payments by rich taxpayers is in fact a leftist concept and ignoring the fundamentals of a market economy.

President Kim also remarked that while NGOs proclaim that they are the representative voice of the people, they had in fact fallen prey to leftist ideology and that the Center for Free Enterprise aimed to educate people on these issues.

He said that it was critical for NGO’s and participating organizations such as the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, to deliberate on issues regarding North Korea’s human rights particularly in relation to future political decisions.

“Even within the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, some people dislike capitalism and others like North Korean regime” he said and added, “There are even signs of dualistic attitudes, where some people criticize issues in South Korea and while maintaining their position, remain still on North Korean issues.”

Why can’t we proclaim North Korea as a dictatorial state?

President Kim said “In the past, the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy did not easily reveal their pro-North Korea position but last year, they publicly opposed the government’s decision to adhere to the U.N.’s North Korea Human Rights Resolution” unveiling their true stance. He warned that this was a decisive moment which signaled a strategic will to overthrow the South Korean system and pursue a path like North Korea.

He argued, “South Koreans do not remain quiet in South Korea if they are hit with the smallest injustice. I do not understand why they are ignoring North Korean brethren and being silent on the North Korean issue.”

As for President Kim, he currently lectures on a segment “Let’s learn about economics” on KBS Social Education Service which focuses on the market economy with North Koreans as the target. Following North Korean development and reform, he aims to help North Korean citizens understand the market economy and prospects that this will aid the transition for unification.

He said “In the past, our society did not understand the system of a market economy and made money, vigorously working for 20~30 years. For this reason, we did not know that making money is not getting it taken away but a system of productivity.”

“North Koreans must also understand the purpose of ‘making money.’ Only then can a proper market economy direct the North Korean society and we must devise a variety ways to educate people on this” he added, stressing the importance of education on South and North Korea.