Electricity shortages blamed for rising price of popular North Korean comfort food
The price of corn noodle soup, a popular dish among North Korea’s working class, has risen as food factories shut down due to electricity shortages.
“There’s no electricity, so corn noodle soup factories aren’t producing that much anymore,” a Pyongyang-based source told Daily NK. “The fall in supply has led to an increase in price, from 1,600 won late last month to 2,800 won more recently.”
While 1,200 North Korean won (around 15 US cents) seems relatively inexpensive, the increase is nonetheless a burden, coming in the midst of a wider economic downturn in the country. “People who rely on corn noodle soup are finding it hard to afford the price increase,” added the source.
The worsening of North Korea’s electricity problems is due to droughts, the source said. Water scarcity has led to the shutdown of hydroelectric dams, which provide around 60% of the country’s electricity.
North Korea’s hydro-meteorological service announced recently that the amount of rainfall in May – North Korea’s planting season – was only 37-46% of the annual average. Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported last month that “Most areas in North Korea’s western coast and interior mid-section are experiencing high-temperatures, and severe droughts are continuing.” ......