Pyongyang is Eating Havana's Lunch

Saturday, August 8, 2015
Young, Swiss-educated Kim is turning out to be quite the economic "reformer."

Arguably much more than his old, uneducated counterpart in Cuba -- Raul Castro.

So where are the calls to engage Kim and increase business with his monopolies, as a way to "help" the North Korean people?

Wouldn't that be consistent with Obama's shameful dictator-down-economics?

Just compare the below images of Pyongyang (top) to Havana (bottom) -- it's obvious which regime is most successful at "spreading the wealth."

And even Raul thinks Pyongyang is where the opportunities lie -- particularly for weapons smuggling.

From The Diplomat:

How Is North Korea's Economy Doing?

Is North Korea’s dilapidated economy on the rise? And if so, does that mean better living standards for ordinary North Koreans? The answer to both seems to be “yes,” according to a report released Sunday by the Congressional Research Service.

Modest economic growth has improved conditions for a segment of the population, according to media accounts of the report. As per usual procedure, the think tank of the U.S. legislature did not make the report public.

The sunnier economic conditions can be attributed to limited agricultural and labor reforms introduced by the regime of Kim Jong-un, the report argues. In a break from its communist past, the government now allows farmers to keep a portion of their harvest and empowers managers to make some hiring and firing decisions.

Reports of growing wealth in North Korea aren’t new. Travelers to the capital Pyongyang, especially, have noted the emergence of relatively affluent middle class in recent years.

“Pyongyang and some other major cities are doing better, it seems,” Andray Abrahamian, the director of research at the non-profit Choson Exchange and a regular visitor to the country, told The Diplomat. “Consumers and consumption are certainly more evident in the capital in a way that is new.”

More generally, somewhat tolerated private markets have sprung up across the country to fill the gaps in the crumbling state distribution system, as cataloged in books like North Korea Confidential.