(Reference Photo) A woman selling food on a street in Daeseong District, Pyongyang. Taken by Koo Gwang-ho, June 2011 (ASIAPRESS)


It seemed as if the North Koreans’ opinion of Kim Jong-un had improved and Kim had succeeded in strengthening his authority after the talks with China, South Korea, and the United States. However, it has been reported that discontent with the regime has been growing among residents since July. The people are becoming increasingly frustrated with the continued economic deterioration, with no signs of improvement in living conditions. (ISHIMARU Jiro)

On April 27, the inter-Korean summit was held at Panmunjom. North Koreans watched Kim Jong-un cross the Military Demarcation Line into the South and shake hands with President Moon Jae-in a day after the summit. When asked for their thoughts on this matter, the ASIAPRESS reporting partners said,

"I was moved."

"Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has great courage for entering enemy territories."

"This will make life better."

"The South will help us."

Most people expressed joy and heightened expectations. Kim Jong-un’s standing in North Korea was greatly boosted after he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping three times and with U.S. President Donald Trump on June 12 for the US-NK summit.

However, after three months have passed since the Panmunjom summit, discontent is spreading in North Korea. This is due to the lack of visible change and continued economic deterioration.
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