Tag Archives: KPW

July to July assessment, 2014

Last July, we provided an assessment of the yearly changes in rice prices and speculated on what the movements revealed about the market conditions in North Korea. In that article, we noted then that the nominal price of rice had … Continue reading

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A quick look at economic conditions in the post-Kim Il Sung era

It has been 20 years since the death of Kim Il-sung and North Korea is still reeling from the consequences of his economic mishandling. However, many North Koreans appear to have fond memories of the Kim Il-sung era, perhaps because … Continue reading

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Purchasing power of foreign exchange and Pyongyang’s dilemma

Channeling the works of Amartya Sen, we at Rice & Iron have often argued that the price of food and the people’s command over income matter far more than the country’s aggregate grain output. Therefore, indices such as wages and … Continue reading

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Monetary stability and food security

Three North Korean cities are weathering the test of the lean season. According to Daily NK, rice prices in Pyongyang, Sinuiju, and Hyesan have remained below 4000 KPW/kg in the second week of May, falling slightly below what they had … Continue reading

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Eating boots, dreaming of pork: food security and the budget deficit in 2014

The lean months are coming to the DPRK. From May through August, North Korean farms will be sowing and growing key crops like rice, maize, and soybean while consuming what remains of the harvest from last fall. Although winter and … Continue reading

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Who will buy Kim Il Sung’s bling?

image via coinshome.net The story goes that in 1972, the North Korean state planned to cast a 65-foot tall gold statue of Kim Il Sung to celebrate his 60th birthday. When Pyongyang’s irate economic patrons in Beijing confronted the North … Continue reading

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