North Korea aims to expand tobacco production facility and foreign currency…

first_img North Korea aims to expand tobacco production facility and foreign currency earnings By Kim Yoo Jin – 2018.08.23 5:35pm NewsEconomy US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again TAGSconstruction SHARE Facebook Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AvatarKim Yoo JinKim Yoo Jin is one of Daily NK’s freelance journalists. Please direct any questions about his articles to [email protected] center_img Various brands of North Korean cigarettes. Image: Daily NK file photoThe April 25 Tobacco Factory (also referred to as Changpyong Farm) in Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province, has tabled plans to increase production by recruiting a large number of ex-soldiers for the factory’s labor units, Daily NK has learned from informed North Korean sources.As exports of minerals like coal have been brought to a standstill due to international sanctions, the authorities seem to be relying on other foreign-currency earning enterprises to the greatest extent possible. North Korea has recently started exporting its own brand of cigarettes called “Morning” to the Middle East, Mongolia, and other areas of the world. This comes after years of notoriety for producing counterfeit versions of famous international brands and exporting them globally.As North Korea’s prowess in tobacco manufacturing has improved, residents have widely begun to believe that North Korean tobacco products are of higher quality than low-cost Chinese brands, and North Korean tobacco products are now very popular among Chinese [living and working] near the Sino-North Korea border. According to a source in North Hamgyong Province, the authorities have ordered the construction of two-story houses for the former soldiers who will be working at the manufacturing facility, while the materials and costs for the housing are the responsibility of the local district. There appear to be plans for a major construction project that will lead to the building of 56 two-story residences. Changpyong Farm is divided into eight labor divisions, with each division comprising seven work units.“The apartments constructed for the former soldiers will be built in the modern North Korean style and near the factory road so that the Marshal (Kim Jong Un) will be able to observe them easily when he conducts on-the-spot guidance at the facility in future,” a separate source in North Hamgyong Province said, adding that the authorities therefore seem to be considering the propaganda value of the housing complex. Recently, Kim Jong Un has criticized the attitudes of officials toward state projects as being “too formalistic” and “too bureaucratic” and some of these individuals likely want to be associated with a successful construction project that they can point to as evidence of their hard work. “The state has declared that all materials required for the construction must be provided by the local district,” the initial source said. “The state isn’t even providing one kilogram of cement, and is just applying pressure for the housing to be built, regardless of the conditions on the ground.” When the state declares that construction materials and labor are the responsibility of the local district, it generally means that the state will provide some funds, but that most of the materials and labor are to be provided by local residents. After the order was handed down in mid-July, quotas for cement were given out to each household in the area and housing construction “shock troops” comprising young laborers were organized to begin the construction process. As North Korea’s relations with China and South Korea have improved, the state has moved to make up for foreign currency shortages due to international sanctions by actively promoting tourism and sporting events, which bring in currency from abroad. Kim Jong Un’s visit to the Wonsan-Kalma Coastal Tourism Zone construction site in May and again in August appears to be related to the state’s attempts to support such projects. News News North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) News Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaderslast_img read more