June 19

Shrinking profits for North Korean porters in Ryanggang Province

first_img US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again Shrinking profits for North Korean porters in Ryanggang Province October 2018 photo of North Korean porter in Sunchon, South Pyongan ProvinceOctober 2018 photo of North Korean porter in Sunchon, South Pyongan Province. Image: Daily NKNorth Koreans in Ryanggang Province who earn their living transporting goods by handcart are facing declining sources of revenue, according to sources inside the country.North Korean porters typically wait at the front of train stations, bus terminals and near markets to offer the transport of various goods for a fee. The job is considered to be in the lower-income category because it does not require much capital or special skills.There are spaces available near railway stations, bus terminals, and truck parking lots for porters to park their carts. Donju have increasingly hired porters either on a regular basis or to conduct a range of odd jobs, including finding wholesale products or customers.“Porters only make around 6,000 to 7,000 KPW per day. Until around June last year, they could make around 15,000 KPW per day, but these days it’s a great deal of effort to earn just 12,000 KPW,” a source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK.“Recently, there has been a reduction in demand for porters, so they can earn more than 10,000 KPW if they go quite a distance. Their earnings have fallen by around half compared to a year or two ago.”Porters are located at the very bottom of North Korea’s distribution network. North Korean defectors have told Daily NK that the fall in profits for porters hints at a decline in the distribution of wholesale goods throughout the country. Moreover, there has been an increase in the number of taxis in North Korea’s major cities, which have become serious competitors to traditional porters using carts.The city of Hyesan in Ryanggang Province handles a considerable volume of imports and smuggling operators and porters there have historically enjoyed earnings similar to those working in Pyongsong, which is the site of the country’s biggest wholesale market. Recently, however, business has been stalling.Porters in Hyesan earn around 3,000 KPW to transport a single item a distance of one kilometer. They can earn more if they transport multiple items at a time, but most only receive requests to transport smaller deliveries once or twice a day.“Smuggling activities have also taken a hit, so porters have less work than before,” a separate source in Ryanggang Province reported.“There are many who can only afford to pay the mandatory market fees and buy a single meal a day.” Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaders NewsEconomy RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img SHARE News By Kang Mi Jin – 2019.05.02 5:05pm News News Facebook Twitterlast_img read more