North Korea has shut down its largest unofficial market in a sign that the Communist government was intent on quashing, or at least better controlling, market activities that it had tolerated for years, Seoul-based organizations monitoring the country said last week.
The market, on the outskirts of Pyongyang, was closed sometime in June and vendors were dispersed to two or three smaller nearby markets, according to the Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights, or NKNet, which says it monitors the North using informants from inside the country. [N.Y. Times]
Wow. That’s some return on a seven billion-dollar investment, and that’s not counting the nuclear weapons it helped a megalomaniac acquire, or the uncounted North Koreans who’ve suffered and died under Kim Jong Il’s unnaturally prolonged misrule.
Don’t feel so smug. All the while South Korea was cutting its defense budget and reinvesting the money in Kim Jong Il, American taxpayers were subsidizing South Korea’s defense. No wonder Americans are still asking why they’re paying to subsidize the armies of both Koreas, including the one that has artillery pointed at our soldiers there.