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For men, their emasculation within their own households is now a fact of life. The piece appears to show both the state’s desire to restrain consumption but also to reassert ‘socialist’ attitudes and encourage nationalist attitudes, thus pushing back against the impact of foreign ideas coming in via overseas media, South Korean dramas and so on.
“Whatever your wife tells you to do, you do,” says Mr. ‘Socialist Cultural Life’ is distributed monthly to all official organs and enterprises.
The regime is threatening to expel divorcees, but to no avail.
“North Koreans don’t take warnings from the regime seriously because they believe that there is no need to report marriage or divorce to the government,” Park said.
Kim’s husband, pay between 20 to 30 times their tiny monthly salary not to work. That’s double what her husband would earn in an entire month, were he to get paid. A kilo of rice is something between 5,000 to 7,000 won.” He was paid only six times last year, he says, but as he points out, his salary is largely meaningless. This has happened to between five and seven men I know.”The North Korean authorities are currently employing various means to encourage frugality, an idea which has recently come to include ‘kwanhonsangje’ (the four ceremonial occasions; coming of age, marriage, funeral and ancestral rites).
They make the payments in order to be classified in what are known as “August the third units,” who can trade privately. “I get paid 1,200 won a month,” complains another interviewee, Mr. Kim and who has an office job in a state-run company. North Korea’s government has become dependent on free labor from its citizens. Men have become mute.” That muteness has become a matter of survival. Kim describes what happens to friends whose wives have left them or died: “Men without wives become beggars. In recent years there has been official criticism of the fact that engagement ceremonies, wedding gift exchanges between families and even the table for ancestral rites have become occasions full of over-spending, empty formalities and vanity.
I have posted these below: But who knew that The Da Vinci Code was a hit in this strictly controlled city? Or that the mass performances are not only a tribute to the leadership and motherland, but the way that many young people find partners? The expatriate population, excluding Chinese and Russian diplomats, and including children, stands at 150. There are certainly signs of change here: Air Koryo has new planes and three gleaming airport buses to ferry passengers from runway to terminal.I believe it is fair to assume from the abundance of open sources, however, that prostitution has increased significantly in the DPRK since the arrival of the Arduous March.Though we do not have any hard data, an interesting anecdote in the Donga-Ilbo story (which I believe might be true) points not only to a general unofficial public acknowledgement of prostitution, but also shows a “North Korean sense of humor” about the situation: Rumors say the term “8/3 couple,” meaning people engaged in extramarital affairs, is spreading widely.That year will mark the 100th birthday of the country’s founder, Kim Il-sung.But it is hard to see how it can achieve its pledge to become “a great, powerful and prosperous nation” by then – even given the Stakhanovite industrial efforts lauded in its newspapers. Pyongyang is lucky: no one is plump, but nor is there noticeable emaciation.
“Recently an increasing number of people don’t bother to register their partnership and just go their separate ways after a few months or years if they want.” A recent story in the Donga-Ilbo asserts that prostitution and other forms of “adult business” are on the rise in the DPRK.