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Author Topic: N. Korea Wages $1 a Month - Slave Labor or US Worker Future?  (Read 894 times)
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WhiskeyGirl
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« on: May 14, 2010, 03:51:09 AM »

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North Korea’s economy is in considerable crisis. Its attempt at currency reform last December failed, leading to hyperinflation and signs of social unrest. Under the new exchange rate regime, a workers’ wage of 2,500 won per month is worth only about $US1 on the black market. Basic items including rice are scarce.

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Pyongyang established the Rajin-Sonbong “special economic zone” near the border with China in the early 1990s to encourage investment from China and Russia. Beijing, however, had little capital to invest abroad at the time and North Korea’s economic zone largely languished. Now the situation has changed as China has begun to use its large foreign currency reserves to secure access to raw materials and markets. Beijing is now seeking to develop Rajin as a major regional trading hub.

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The North Korean International Trade Office web site promotes the country as having “the lowest labour costs in Asia” and the “lowest tax scheme in Asia”. Orienting to China in particular, it emphasises the country’s educated workforce, noting: “[A]t the moment the labour cost in North Korea is very low compared to China’s, especially great for corporations to save labour costs.” It added that North Korea was a vast “virgin silo” with 300 types of minerals and other untapped natural resources. It further declared that the regime was establishing a free market and laws to protect private property and foreign investors.

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China’s current efforts to open up North Korea for investment face similar obstacles. The current dispute over the sinking of a South Korea warship in March is just one of a number of issues that could spark a new crisis and cut across China’s plans. Major power rivalry, especially between the US and China, continues to ensure that the Korean peninsula remains a dangerous international flashpoint.

more here - http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/kore-m14.shtml

An interesting article.

Who will act as a balance to China's military might after Obama guts the US military?
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