Local factories in North Korea face closure amidst theft epidemic
Factories in South Pyongan Province are facing operational issues and have reportedly requested financial support from the provincial government. There has also been an increase in the number of workers who are stealing factory equipment and materials to feed themselves and their families.
“The Pyongsong Equipment Factory, Pyongsong Woodworks Factory, metal product and silk factories in Mundok, Sukchon, Kaechon, Tokchon and Pyongwon, have requested financial support from the province’s Local Industrial Management Department,” a South Pyongan Province-based source reported on April 21. “They were just told to ‘work it out themselves.’”
The province’s Local Industrial Management Department discussed shutting down the factories, the source said.
“In mid-March, the province’s Local Industrial Management Department discussed shutting down some local factories that are facing operational issues,” said the source. “Department officials said that shutting them down was a practical way to deal with the lack of new products and their failure to transform their management systems.”
The factories have long faced operational difficulties due to international sanctions on the import of needed source materials, the source said. The North Korean economy is also facing stagnation, which has only made their situation worse, the source said.
The quality of the products produced at the factories is poor compared to imported products, which means they have become uncompetitive in the market. North Koreans are not buying anything but grains and other food at the markets these days so there is been a drastic decrease in demand for products from these factories. ......