Friday, January 10, 2014
Rice for Pyongyang, Nothing for Provinces
North Korean authorities have distributed rice harvested last year to workers in Pyongyang, while workers elsewhere in the country are left with nothing, Daily NK has learned.
It was widely assumed that regular distribution would resume this year, so the absence of rations outside of the nation’s capital is disappointing for many, a source in Pyongyang reported.
As the designated “Capital of the Revolution,” Pyongyang has been deemed a “Special Supply Area” and is generally first to receive rations, it was explained.
“Two weeks’ worth of food was delivered on the 3rd and 4th. An edict came down from the Upper (the authorities) that the people will receive more in 15 days, and that after that rations would resume as normal.”
However, “Many people harbor doubts about this, as this has been heard since last year. Nonetheless, the rations that did arrive were certainly welcome.”
Overall ration quantity has increased since December, which has in turn resulted in price stability across the board. Rice in Pyongyang is currently being traded at around 5000 won per kilo, the source confirmed.
Meanwhile, regions outside of Pyongyang continue to wait for their allotted share. While distributing rice released from the No.2 wartime rice reserves last year, the authorities boasted that rations would be normalized in 2014.
A second source located in Yangkang Province told Daily NK, “As of yet there has been no official word or any special decrees related to rations. Ordinary citizens have not been able to receive anything, but families of military and state security personnel have received a comparatively plentiful supply.”
“Most people are just saying, ‘It wasn’t like we got anything before, so let’s just forget about it,’” the source disclosed, before adding, “Even though it was poor quality, the Upper shared some rice with the people last year. But now we don’t even have that. The people are expressing their disappointment by saying, ‘If you’re not going to give us anything, then you shouldn’t have opened your mouths in the first place.’”
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