A child stands on a roadside in Pyongyang, North Korea In a photo taken on Sept. 27, 2017. (ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Sanctions take time, but North Korea is already showing the symptoms of an economy under duress, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Beijing on Thursday, Nov. 9.
Tillerson said the Chinese regime had shared signs they had observed that the effect of the sanctions was becoming a problem for the Kim regime.
“We see certain signs of our own through intel and other sources,” said Tillerson.
“It is creating some stress within North Korea’s economy and with some of their citizens, potentially even within some of their military.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks in Washington, D.C. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
In recent weeks, reports from inside North Korea reveal a nation coping with a loss of revenue and wildly fluctuating prices in its fledgling market economy.
The North Korean regime under leader Kim Jong Un has made this winter’s fishing campaign a call to battle in an editorial published Tuesday in Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party.
“The fishing campaign today is a drive to uphold the Party policies and defend the socialist system,” says the editorial.
The Kim regime relies on an ideology of self-reliance and military-first policies to justify the routine hardship and mandatory unpaid work mobilizations in North Korea. Tuesday’s editorial celebrated those efforts.
People fish in the Bay of Wonsan, North Korea in October 2016. (Christian Peterson-Clausen/Handout via Reuters)
“This year our army and people brought about a good result in the agricultural production, despite serious draught, with the great might of the army-people unity and the spirit of self-reliance and self-development,” it reads.
While the Rodong editorial lauded agricultural outputs, reports from inside North Korea indicated a brewing crisis.
Daily NK, a Seoul-based news site that specializes in obtaining information from within North Korea, has published stories detailing soldiers organizing farm raids to obtain rations, and possibly one incident of starvation.