All Report

[Video Report] Wholesale Black Market Prospering with Prohibited Goods

The black market in North Korea–that was once small-scale and primitive–has grown hundreds of times bigger, within just a few years. The development of the black market occurred around the time when the nation was hit by massive social disruptions, colloquially called the “arduous march” in the 1990s. The force of the market economy has played a significant role in the North Korean economy. In North Korea, a a socialist nation, state-owned companies and state-owned stores have been in charge of production and the distribution of goods, respectively. However, the state-imposed monopoly of goods has become a dysfunctional system. Regarding both quality and quantity, people do not trust state-owned stores anymore.

◎ASIAPRESS rimjingang playlist>>

In October 2008 an ASIAPRESS reporting partner, Sim Ui-chun, filmed sellers in front of the Taesong market, Sariwon City. In the footage, the significance of the market economy in North Korea is obvious. Tens of women in the video–holding a list of goods–are sitting in front of their market stalls and waiting for customers. The majority of the products on the list are prohibited items in the state-owned stores. Even gasoline is sold through these markets, which individuals are not allowed to handle according to the state. Customers at these markets are retailers who will then go to other locations to establish wholesale. The market economy in North Korea has been developed and diversified, giving birth to the now de facto wholesale markets.

Related article: [Video Report] N.Korea Soldiers selling seaweed at a market

Rimjingang_banner001* Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters

ARCHIVE(pdf) >>

Related post

  1. <Photo Report> Kotchebi, the Hom…
  2. Rimjin-gang – Editor’…
  3. <Inside N. Korea> Student absent…
  4. Rimjin-gang - Periodic Survey - …
  5. A member of the "Worker-Peasant Red Guards" stands in front of the entrance to a state run enterprise. (Taken by Kim Dong-cheol, South Pyongan Province, October 2010.) . ASIAPRESS Civil Force Anti-Aircraft Troops…
  6. Ryanggang Province, busy with people. This is the "Hyesan Market" in Hyesan City. (November 2012 Taken by Rimjin-gang's reporting partner in North Korea) ASIAPRESS Stimulant Drugs Take Root in the…
  7. <Interview with N.Korean People>…
  8. Jang's execution by firing squad was carried out immediately after the tribunal. (PHOTO: Rodong Sinmun;13/Dec/2013) Arrest, Displacement and Suicide…


Chongjin, North Hamkyung Province. September, 2013  ASIAPRESS N.Korea Market Survey Reveals Basic Food Price Hike PHOTO1 N.Korea IT Report – PART1: Kids Master Emoticons and Movies with Mobile phones A bottle of domestic "penicillin", made at the Suncheon medical factory. ASIAPRESS Embezzled UN Aid Circulates in N.Korean Underground – End to Free Healthcare, Illegal Abortions Widespread A political assembly held by a KWP regional branch that took place a half year before the purge of Jang Song-thaek. The ranking officials discussed and addressed the people's allegiance and dedications to Kim Jong-un. (Summer/2013/ASIAPRESS) Possible Firing Squad Executions Punish Violators of “Kim Jong-un’s Instructions” This picture is taken from raw video footage captured in Sosong District, Pyongyang in the summer of 2006. Female students are assembled near the Three Revolution Exhibition museum to practice for a military parade in honor of Kim Jong-il's birthday. Each student is wearing a white shoulder-cloth inscribed with a consecutive number. (Lee Jun / Pyongyang / August 2006) ASIAPRESS The Truth Behind N.Korea’s Military Parades 〈Photo Report- 6 (a)〉 The Government’s Command is for a “Strong and Prosperous Nation” — but Workers Tired Out at Pyongyang Construction Sites to Build 100,000 Apartments

Korean   Japanese


Rimjingang_facebook Rimjingang_twitter Rimjingang_YouTube

Rimjin-gang English Edition for iPad App

New Report

  1. <Inside North Korea> Real Evaluation On Kim Jong-un By His Own People
  2. <Inside North Korea> Total War Is Impossible for North Korean Army
  3. [Video Report] Wholesale Black Market Prospering with Prohibited Goods
  4. [Video Report] N.Korea Soldiers selling seaweed at a market
  5. <Photo Report on North Korea> Ex-Soldier Confesses “War Is Impossible for Hungry People’s Army!”
  6. <Inside North Korea> Celebrating Mood in Pyongyang Is Propaganda, High Alert Is Reality
  7. [Video Report] N.Korea Regulation Officer at Market