June 29, 2020 11:26
The North Korean regime is desperate to keep the Pyongyang elite on side as essential supplies dry up amid the border lockdown and international sanctions.
The North Korean Cabinet in an extended meeting decided to improve the living conditions of Pyongyang residents and secure supplies of drinking water and vegetables, according to the official Minju Choson newspaper on Saturday. It also promised to complete the construction of homes within this year and repair aging housing units.
Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called on the Politburo to discuss "the pressing issue of how to guarantee Pyongyang residents' livelihood" and "improving people's living standards."
The elite in Pyongyang have always received special treatment from the regime.
But Japan's Asahi Shimbun reported Sunday that a large amount of Chinese private capital is entering North Korea despite the sealed borders. The North desperately needs hard currency to keep itself afloat.
The Asahi said Chinese investors who park their money in commercial buildings in Pyongyang and other cities receive "regular dividends." China has also apparently invested more than US$10 million each in the construction of a dozen North Korean fish farms.
UN sanctions prohibit direct investment in North Korea, and Chinese investors are apparently sending their cash to the North by ship.
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