December 10, 2022
Columns

How North Korean police corruption became essential to the growth of markets

Businesspeople pay bribes to police in order to create the space necessary for them to buy, sell and trade their wares

Nearly every kind of economic activity regularly encountered in North Korea is, strictly speaking, illegal. But as everybody with some exposure to DPRK life knows, private economic activity is a considerable force in the country. 

This creates an unusual situation. When police patrol the marketplace, they could justifiably arrest every single person they see.