(Photo) A woman collects gold. Photo taken in October 2008 in South Hwanghae Province by Shim Uicheon (ASIAPRESS).

◆Poor people perform hard labor to survive

According to a reporting partner, there are many North Koreans who work for state-run and privately operated gold mines for a daily wage of 25 yuan. For North Koreans, however, a daily wage of 25 yuan is quite high. Working from the early morning well into the night, the miners are expected to perform very physical labor.

According to the reporting partner, “Most working people don’t receive proper wages or benefits. Instead, rather than receiving a proper wage, most workers receive exemptions from their duties so that they can engage in private enterprise elsewhere. Lot of poor housewives are working too.”    

Word of the incident quickly spread through the city of Hyesan. One local resident lamented, "They call this socialism but this is a world where money is more important than a person’s life”. (Kang Ji-won)

※ASIAPRESS communicates with reporting partners using Chinese mobile phones smuggled into North Korea.

Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters

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