North Korea Says “The South Invests in the North because it’s Bankrupted”

[imText1]It turns out the North Korean regime is asserting to its people that the South has decided to invest in the North because the South’s shipping industry is doomed.

The North Korean authorities stated this at public lectures held in October while reporting on the results of the second Inter-Korean Summit, according to a report released on Wednesday by Good Friends, a Seoul-based aid organization for North Korea.

According to that report, a cadre from Pyongsung delivered a public lecture saying, “South’s shipbuilding industry is on the verge of doom, and that is why it has decided to build a shipyard in Anbyun of Kangwon and to establish cooperative complexes for shipbuilding in Nampo in the West Sea.” The cadre also announced that the two Koreas have agreed to turn the military demarcation line in the waters of the West Sea into a ‘peace line’ and create a joint fishing zone there, the report says.

Nevertheless, the report says, “Most participants had no interest in the lecture. They only care about putting some bread on the table and making money, instead of wasting time on discussing the country’s affairs”

According to the report, the North Korean people strongly oppose the recently imposed market regulations. It has been reported that the number of individuals who violate the measures is increasing.

“Recently, the chairman of the People’s Committee in Pohang district of Chongjin was fired and demoted to a regular worker’s position because the chairman had complained about the State’s regulation measure that bans females under the age of 45 years old from doing business in the market beginning on December 1st of this year,” the report reads. The chairman is quoted as saying, “In today’s society, women are breadwinners. If women under 45 are banned from making a living in the market, who is going to earn bread and butter for their households?”

“In Sinam district of Chungjin, a female was arrested after having expressed discontent about the regulation. She was pulled along to a Social Safety office and underwent all sorts of hardships. Later, she was criticized at an evaluation meeting of the women’s unit in her district, and then released,” says the report.

“In Pyongyang, agents on a mission to crack down anti-socialist activities are going around to households of individuals who do business in the market. The agents ask the individuals when and how they started their business, what their children do, and where they procure sales items,” says the report.

The report also relays the account of an elderly couple retired from the Party who were recently visited by inspection agents. The report says, “Although the couple spent most of their life serving the Party, they had to come to the market to make a living in their old age. The couple felt very bitter about their situation. They grumbled against the regime saying that it frequently regulates the market and inspects those engaged in business. The elderly couple was at a loss at what to do.”