Sales of gifts plummet following death of Kim Jong Il
“Entrepreneurs are deeply disturbed about the decline in sales of wedding gifts such as Hanboks (traditional Korean clothes), electronics, and beddings following the death of Kim Jong Il”, stated Cho, a 33 year old resident of Pyongyang’s affluent Mankyungdae area.
The source claimed that business in North Korea has generally slowed throughout the country but especially in the Pyongyang area. In explaining the origin of such phenomenon, the source said “due to Korean tradition, there is growing sentiment to postpone ceremonies for 3 years following our great father’s death” and “even the elites are abstaining from holding fairs in fear of showing disrespect to the deceased”.
Also, the marriage rate has drastically dropped in comparison to last year. “There used to be huge numbers of new couples paying tribute before Kim Il Sung’s stature in Mansudae square”, the source carried on “but you can’t see them anymore nowadays”.
Not only is the wedding ceremony severely affected but also the dol, Korea’s first birthday party for a newborn, as well as birthday celebrations for the elderly. Consequently, tradespeople are running out of business and can barely afford to pay the market dues.
“They’ve long been expecting a better future after Kim Jong Il”, the source stated. He went on to suggest that traders in North Korea are openly expressing grievances against the new authority “because they are frustrated by continuous interruptions and tight regulation from the authority.”