Posted August. 31, 2005 06:49,
North Korea is showing signs of resuming its food rationing system, which in effect collapsed in the middle of the 1990s.
According to informants, the North regime sent a ministerial order through the phone lines on August 19 calling for normalizing the operation of its nationwide distributing system from October 1.
A news source said on August 30, After receiving the order, each province and city held meetings for food administration officials and discussed countermeasures, adding, They also talked about having the authorities buy grain from individuals, excluding a proportionate amount for individual rationing from the total production, as well as discussing how to reorganize the structure of the rationing network and personnel management.
Another resource reaffirmed the fact and added, The regimes order to revive the rationing system is the first time in 10 years since the mid 1990s when the food crisis practically emerged.
No exact explanation behind the move has been revealed. However, it is reported that food prices in North Korea since the news publicized have plunged. Some sources reports that rice and corn prices per kilogram, which hovered around 1,100 won and 500 won respectively at the end of June, have dropped to 700 won and 200 won respectively at the end of August. Of course, as it is in the run up to a harvest season, the prices do drop although it is much larger compared to last year.
It is said that even human resources in charge of local rationing offices are insufficient almost 10 years after the systems collapse.