The Kwangbok Area Commerce Center: a model for North Korea’s retail future?
A Pyongyang shopping mall offers hints at a long-term state strategy to undercut private markets
The Kwangbok Supermarket is one of North Korea’s premier shopping facilities, and is a frequent stop on many foreign tourist, journalist, and trade delegation itineraries, being one of the DPRK’s major supermarkets.
Although it is a visibly different kind of North Korean retail experience, state retail policy that emerged around the time it was opened points to a potentially highly ambitious (perhaps infeasible) long-term strategy for state entities to gradually take back control from private market traders.
NK Pro analysis indicates the following:Government attitudes toward markets vacillated in the early 2000s
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