North Korean authorities increased ‘loyalty’ contributions ahead of national anniversary
The North Korean authorities reportedly forced traders living abroad to contribute to the government’s “loyalty fund” to support the events held on September 9, the 70th anniversary of the country’s founding.
A North Korean trader in Yanji, China, told Daily NK on September 10 that the authorities demanded that he contribute 2,000 RMB [around 330,000 KRW] to the loyalty fund, and that this was “a scheme to take money from those working abroad to pay for the events on September 9.
“The international sanctions on North Korea have already made it difficult to do my job, so it’s excruciating that they are continuously asking for more money,” he said.
“I don’t get any support from the authorities while I’m abroad. I’m in a difficult situation and it feels like I’m being robbed.”
The North Korean authorities are increasing the frequency of their demands for money while shortening the time period in which funds must be provided. They are also asking for significantly more money than in the past. Ultimately, traders are facing more difficulties in contributing to the loyalty fund due to the international sanctions on North Korea and the damage these sanctions have had on their businesses.
“There was hope that the sanctions would be loosened after [Kim Jong Un’s] meetings with all those presidents, but everyone working abroad has now given up such hopes,” another North Korean trader currently in China told Daily NK, expressing his frustration over the situation. ......