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Situation In North Korea: Grave  
User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 6013 posts, RR: 3
Posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2712 times:

Didn't see this elsewhere, but it looks like the people of North Korea are in for a rough patch. Basically the North Korean Won has been revalued, cutting off two zero's off its value and wiping out peoples savings in the process.

http://www.freekorea.us/2009/12/01/n...cy-wipes-away-savings-of-millions/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2009/12/01/AR2009120101790.html

This guy is summing it up just about right

Quote:
Let me make it absolutely clear: This is some serious stuff. North Koreans under Kim Jong-il largely just do what they can just to survive in the Stalinist state, and for many that may mean engaging in black-market activity. Or even just relying on those who engage in black-market activity, like the private markets that sell food. If these things dry up or dissipate, so too do their odds of making it into next year diminish. This is a grave turn of events

http://kushibo.blogspot.com/2009/12/...h-koreas-currency-revaluation.html

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2432 posts, RR: 24
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2701 times:

Sooner or later the state of North Korea the way it is known today will go down, and become more capitalized. With all the media we have today and the globalization going on it can only be a matter of time.

User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2669 times:



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 1):
Sooner or later the state of North Korea the way it is known today will go down, and become more capitalized. With all the media we have today and the globalization going on it can only be a matter of time.

Global media doesn't reach the people of North Korea unfiltered, if it reaches them at all. That society is entirely cut off from the rest of the world. I seriously doubt the media we have today or globalization are going to cause a revolution in N. Korea. The N. Koreans are going to have to get fed up with everything in masses and overthrow the regime, or they will sit and someone will end up doing it for them. Either way, a lot of lives will be lost, sadly. Why this country seems so arrogant and cut off, I don't really know.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19924 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2580 times:

So I wonder what happens when they can't buy any more stuff for their military? Or for their leaders' lavish lifestyles?

Either way, while my heart goes out to the North Koreans, it is not the job of the U.S. to go in and topple the regime unless it directly threatens our security. End of story.


User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 6013 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2550 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Either way, while my heart goes out to the North Koreans, it is not the job of the U.S. to go in and topple the regime unless it directly threatens our security. End of story.

I don't think anyone is expecting that at all.

From what I've been reading around the web, this move could pose a serious threat to the North Korean regime. Take a look in your wallet. If you have more than $40 in cash, you're richer than every single North Korean is going to be after this. And unless there's some special channels set up, that is going to include members of the military, the political machinery and just about everyone that's holding the North Korean society in check.

Why should they continue supporting the regime?


User currently offlinePacNWjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2530 times:



Quoting UAL747 (Reply 2):
Why this country seems so arrogant

Countries are not people (the writings of some political scientists notwithstanding) and they don't have feelings (e.g., arrogance). Countries are made up of people, as are governments. In the case of North Korea, the government is comprised of a dynastic leader and his toadying sycophants who either agree with him ideologically about the necessity of absolute control of the country, benefit monetarily by being part of the regime, or merely follow him out of fear for their own lives if they defy him (or some combination thereof). It's called despotism, it's not new in the world, but is a form of government that is increasingly rare and therefore stands out in the world as a curiosity. In the past, when governance of this nature was more common, people just took it for granted.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7960 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2529 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
So I wonder what happens when they can't buy any more stuff for their military? Or for their leaders' lavish lifestyles?

This is irrelevant, I'm afraid. North Korea's Won isn't used for the little international trade. As a matter of fact, no other country, not even China, recognizes the Won for exchange.

What I don't ger is: Are they "just" cutting off two zero's from the bills or from the price tags as well? If the latter is the case, people would not have to fear losses, at the same time, the re-issue would not spoil the unofficial economy as the article suggests, or am I completely wrong?



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2516 times:



Quoting UAL747 (Reply 2):
Global media doesn't reach the people of North Korea unfiltered, if it reaches them at all. That society is entirely cut off from the rest of the world. I seriously doubt the media we have today or globalization are going to cause a revolution in N. Korea. The N. Koreans are going to have to get fed up with everything in masses and overthrow the regime, or they will sit and someone will end up doing it for them. Either way, a lot of lives will be lost, sadly. Why this country seems so arrogant and cut off, I don't really know.

It's not that easy. Most North Koreans are brainwashed since they are children into believing that Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are almost gods. It's very difficult for any dissident (and there are only very few of them) to fight a system that established itself on personal worship, propaganda and brainwashing. Most are either summarily executed when found, and even if they manage to escape the DPRK, their lives will continue to be in danger because of DPRK operatives abroad. It seems to me that the only way for the regime to be deposed, is through civil war, or if they have the crazy idea of ending the armistice with the ROK (technically, North and South are still at war after all).

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Either way, while my heart goes out to the North Koreans, it is not the job of the U.S. to go in and topple the regime unless it directly threatens our security. End of story.

Doesn't their nuclear programme indirectly threaten the security of the United States, as well as that of Japan and the ROK, two of their most important economic and military allies in Asia?


User currently offlineWhappeh From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2498 times:

I'm more shocked that North Korean people had "savings".


-Travel now, journey infinitely.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19924 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2450 times:



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 7):

Doesn't their nuclear programme indirectly threaten the security of the United States, as well as that of Japan and the ROK, two of their most important economic and military allies in Asia?

Yeah, that "indirectly" argument is what got us into Korea, Vietnam, Iraq (twice), etc. Look, the rise in the power of the Euro indirectly threatens the security of the United States by weakening the Dollar.

Should we invade Europe? I mean, we did it once before...  duck 


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13138 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2414 times:

It may be sorry to say, but it may take the deaths of maybe 20-25% of the NK population from starvation to bring any hint of change. Some NK citizens may have to kill thier children, an elderly or sick family member or themselves to have enough food. Some may sell their young daughters to men in the PRC desprite for marriagable women, something that has been happening for a while. (The PRC's 1-child polices has meant abortions of many females, so overall there are about 5 men for every 4 woman in much of the country).

Until there is enough mass suffering causing people to rebel, figuring they have nothing to lose except their terrible lives, nothing will happen.


User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9524 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2326 times:



Quoting Whappeh (Reply 8):
'm more shocked that North Korean people had "savings".

you get "money" but there are no goods which you can buy for that money. That creates huge savings on tiny incomes, same situation in East Germany, except that they could change it to rreal money 1:1 in 1990. (and they had a better lifestyle then the North Koreans ever will have)

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
hat I don't ger is: Are they "just" cutting off two zero's from the bills or from the price tags as well?

That will be announced on Monday, likely that prices will increase to prevent that savings can be "amassed" in the future.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
So I wonder what happens when they can't buy any more stuff for their military? Or for their leaders' lavish lifestyles?

They sell more slaves on the world market (no kidding, sweat shops with North korean workers have been discovered in Czekia), the sell weapons and nuclear technology to iran and Lybia or they simply blackmail the world with their own nuclear program and whetaver else criminal energy will produce..

There will always be enough money for Unlce Kims rare old Cognac, his porn collection and whatever else gets him through the night, there will always be enough for the top brass and the military will also not suffer from the re-valuation of the won.

Corrupt dictators make sure about that first thing.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5724 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2295 times:



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
Are they "just" cutting off two zero's from the bills or from the price tags as well? If the latter is the case, people would not have to fear losses, at the same time, the re-issue would not spoil the unofficial economy as the article suggests, or am I completely wrong?

The objective of this move is to get rid of "too much" money among the population and reduce its purchase power, which is unwelcome in the economy of shortege of everything and which creates too much demand which the state is not able to saturate.
The catch is that technically they "just" erase two zeros from the bill but in reality the prices in state-run shops may (or may not) be adjusted in a symmetrical manner, however prices on black and non-state run markets which is tolerated in NK after the famine in 2000 are governed by market forces (early reports say that the price of rice already went up 15x).

Another catch may be that there is usually different ratio used for converison of cash and different ratio used for money deposited on accounts and/or there is a certain ceiling set which will let people exchange only certain amount of their savings, the rest at less favorable rate or will not let them exchange at all, e.g. first xy thousand won converted at 1000:1 the rest e.g. at 100,000:1). Supposedly in NK the limit for exchange of old wons for new ones is 100,000 won per household - whether that means household as we understand it i.e. parents+kids or household in broader sense as it is understood in Korea it doesn't say.

BTW, this is what communists did in Czechoslovakia in 1953, which resulted in us being kicked out of the IMF and CS koruna being no longer convertible (the formula was for cash: 1-300 CSK exchanged at 5:1, anything above 300CSK at 50:1; deposited money: 1-5000 CSK 5:1, 5k-10k CSK at 6.25:1, 10k-20k CSK at 10:1, 20k-50k at 25:1, anything above 50k CSK converted at 30:1).
In North Korea this is already a fifth such state-organized robbery. First was in 1947 followed by 1959, 1979, 1992 and 2009.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 11):
Czekia

By all means you are more than welcome to use spellcheck...  Wink


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8629 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2275 times:

My heart goes out to the NKoreans.

The story of NK is one of the saddest tragedies of our time. It is such a waste. Korea is a fabulous country that was wounded by an accident of history.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 10):
It may be sorry to say, but it may take the deaths of maybe 20-25% of the NK population

That already happened. They did not rebel in the past. This is a deeper problem that may never solve itself organically. They might all die first. The more I learn about the Korean mindset, the more I understand the concept of loyalty and duty, and mind over matter. A revolution due to complaints is not something easily conceived.

My SK colleagues are not optimistic it will be solved in this lifetime.


User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2264 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 13):
That already happened. They did not rebel in the past. This is a deeper problem that may never solve itself organically. They might all die first.

Put's into perspective all the mindless arguments we get into on this continent over who's rich and who's poor -- and how you define poverty. If ever a country was in dire need of regime change, this one must be at the top of the list. But they don't have anything anyone wants, I guess.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9524 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2255 times:



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 12):
By all means you are more than welcome to use spellcheck...

accept my sincere apologies, I know I am awful on that , especially when in a hurry and since you split up I haven't "loaded" the new name properly. I will improve, promise.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2216 times:



Quoting CPH-R (Thread starter):
for a rough patch

Uh ? ... that is the understatement of the day... Try a rough century patch and it would be more like it.



You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12513 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2215 times:



Quoting PanHAM (Reply 11):
That will be announced on Monday, likely that prices will increase to prevent that savings can be "amassed" in the future.

Call me Mr. Thicky, but am I reading this correctly? Is that the only reason - to prevent savings being amassed? I thought that even NK was starting to recognise the virtues of free enterprise and allow private businesses.

I understand that economics "works" (or more accurately, doesn't work) in a totally different way in NK, but I'm trying to fathom whether there is any possible economic advantage to NK here, or whether it's really a move based on political ideology?


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2194 times:



Quoting Kaitak (Reply 17):
I thought that even NK was starting to recognise the virtues of free enterprise and allow private businesses.

They do not. At most, the government makes joint ventures with companies from the ROK, like in the industrial complex near the border. But as far as free enterprise and private businesses is concerned, Stalinism, as well as the idea of Juche is still alive and well.


User currently offlineAf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2695 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2140 times:

Perhaps this could be a very tiny boost to North Korea?
http://www.startribune.com/world/785...72.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU

Probably wouldn't make its image not even close to better. And are the people that make these jeans treated fairly?



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9524 posts, RR: 31
Reply 20, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2132 times:



Quoting Kaitak (Reply 17):
Call me Mr. Thicky, but am I reading this correctly? Is that the only reason - to prevent savings being amassed? I thought that even NK was starting to recognise the virtues of free enterprise and allow private businesses.

Well, I said that even with the little money people make, they cannot spend all of oit because there are no goods available. That was a phenomena in eats Germany as well, with the exception that somnetime, fashion or pocket calculators were available at astronomical prices. That way, small fortunes of wothless money can be."amassed".

NK has a small private market where people sell agricultural goods., for instance, and these small vendors seem to be the hardest hit. Whatever they made, is null and void by the currency reform.

It is like it always is, socialism is theft and the small people always suffer.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5724 posts, RR: 19
Reply 21, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2109 times:



Quoting Af773atmsp (Reply 19):
Perhaps this could be a very tiny boost to North Korea?

My guess would be that "Dear Leader" only wants a new fleet of S-Klasses...
I understand the (imhp rather cynical) reasoning behind expoliting the exotic "Made in North Korea" aspect of the product and attempt to appeal to the "responsible" crowd of foolish do-gooders, but forking 200+ USD for a pair of jeans will make as much difference in improving the life in North Korea as buying soap made in concentration camps did for those living in said "facilities"...


User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 6013 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2062 times:



Quoting PanHAM (Reply 20):
these small vendors seem to be the hardest hit. Whatever they made, is null and void by the currency reform.

Depends if they can exchange them on the black market for Dollars or Yuan. If they can't, the bills pretty much only good for toilet paper or warming their homes, since they won't risk the official exchange.


User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9524 posts, RR: 31
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2011 times:



Quoting CPH-R (Reply 22):
Depends if they can exchange them on the black market for Dollars or Yuan. If they can't, the bills pretty much only good for toilet paper or warming their homes, since they won't risk the official exchange.

Neither the old nor the new NK Won hs any outside value whatsoever. It is not even traded in China. No chance to exchange for US$ or any other currency.

If that regime ever falls, South Korea has a tremendous challenge, much harder than Germany had and we are still biting on the results 40 years of communism left us.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5724 posts, RR: 19
Reply 24, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1967 times:



Quoting PanHAM (Reply 23):
If that regime ever falls, South Korea has a tremendous challenge, much harder than Germany had and we are still biting on the results 40 years of communism left us.

German reunification was a picnic compared to what Koreans will be up to one day.


25 NoUFO : Not necessarily. North Korea has large amounts of natural resources the GDR could have only dreamed of.
26 L410Turbolet : Do you really think the resources are such to make a difference? What matters is the gap between respective countries. GDR was lagging behind 40 year
27 NoUFO : All true, and you have forgotten to mention those approximately 200,000 (mostly) political prisoners. But, after the unification, the world will be a
28 LTU932 : Agreed. Even with its natural resources, it will take far more as per my below post. Let's put it in this perspective: In the DDR, the re-unification
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