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
- 01North Korea in May 2020: a month in review and what’s ahead
- 02Schrödinger’s sanctions: South Korea plays down the May 24th Measures
- 03Is North Korea privatizing its housing supply? In Rason, partially, yes
- 04At North Korean military meeting, nuclear and personnel issues take precedence
- 05North Korea’s military meets: a renewed focus on nuclear command and control
- 06Fail to prepare, prepare to fail: getting ready for instability in North Korea
- 07What the latest U.S. sanctions advisory means for North Korean operations at sea
- 08Managing risk: what happens in the event of Kim Jong Un’s unexpected death?