North Korea loosens rules on motorcycle ownership registration
The Ministry of People’s Safety (MPS) recently began permitting North Koreans to register ownership of motorcycles under their own names, Daily NK has learned.
While private ownership of motorcycles was first permitted by North Korea in 2012, North Koreans had to register their motorcycles under the name of their workplace. This system made many North Koreans feel like they did not really own their two-wheeled vehicles.
Private ownership registration was previously only granted to traffic control officers and other government officials, such as post-office workers.
Motorcycles a “worthwhile investment”
Many North Koreans are delighted with the change in the motorcycle registration system. The donju, or North Korea’s nouveau riche, are actively involving themselves in businesses that require the use of motorcycles, multiple sources told Daily NK.
Oh Chong-song, a North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea via Panmunjom in 2017, remarked recently that wealthy men in North Korea generally ride motorcycles. This suggests that while they were more or less “just for show” a few years ago, they are now considered by many North Koreans as a necessity for certain business activities. ......