June 06, 2023

How the private market brought pork to the table in North Korea

When state planning failed to deliver a steady supply of meat, Kim Il Sung handed the reins to private pig farmers

North Korean founding leader Kim Il Sung once famously promised that every citizen would soon be able to eat meat (that is, pork) soup daily. However, three decades of attempts to create a state-controlled system of pig farming ended in failure. 

Instead, it was a rare, officially sanctioned turn to the private market that brought Kim’s dream closer to reality.