Absolute Must-See: Video of Onsung Market, Before and After The Great Confiscation

I knew Onsung was a shit hole, but wow. Just, wow. Watch it here — English subtitles and all — and read about it in the New York Times.

Don’t miss the corrupt officials shaking down the merchants, or the South Korean Red Cross aid for sale. We’ve seen other video showing American aid being sold, too, as well as previous reports of South Korean food aid being confiscated and diverted for military use.

Could individual corrupt officials be responsible for all of this diversion? They could be, on a smaller scale, but large-scale diversion suggests that the “socialist” regime takes what it needs for itself, then sells the rest in the markets to raise cash. It’s yet another reason to refuse to send more food aid unless we’re able to do the only kind of monitoring that we can really be sure about — nutritional surveys of the recipients.

4 Comments

  1. Amazing footage of the worker’s paradise. I am sure the reason that the markets were empty after the Great Confiscation is that everyone is at home getting fat off of their gov’t ration card allowances.




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  2. Just asking a question here to see how similar the two dates would be in terms of what one would expect in a market. The first date is Monday, October 12, two days after a public holiday (founding of the Workers’ Party), and the second is Tuesday, March 2.

    If a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, is it “celebrated” on the Friday or Monday closest to it? South Korea generally does not do this, but North Korea might. And if the first date is a public day-off, could that account for some of the difference in activity.

    Again, just asking. I’m certainly not trying to suggest that the video does not show what it purports to show (i.e., a dramatic difference in activity before the revaluation versus after).




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  3. To caveat off of what Kushibo said, I think if the second video could have shown reduced market activity over a longer period of time, perhaps a week, that it would be more convincing. I think if critics wanted to they could explain away the second video by saying it appeared to be very cold out that day and less people came to the market.

    Nevertheless an incredible video that shows the inside of a North Korean marketplace unlike anything I have seen before.




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  4. GI Korea, I was thinking along the same lines as well, though I’d hate to have someone risk their own security just to satisfy my curiosity.

    But if someone were to actually bring up the cold as a chilling factor in market activity, I would respond by reminding them of how busy South Korean outdoor markets (e.g., Namdaemun, Tongdaemun) can be regardless of the temperature, even in the dead of winter. As a California native, that is something I’ve always found fascinating.




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