NewsEconomy US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again By Choi Song Min – 2014.11.05 2:56pm Choi Song Min News Kimchi Greens Funneled to Pyongyang News News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR SHARE Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaders Facebook Twitter North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) Most areas in North Korea are facing ashortage in produce such as cabbages, radishes, and other vegetables due to theextreme lack of rainfall this year, causing collective farms around Pyongyangand some fields near the West Sea to be plowed over, according to a local source.“In the area surrounding Pyongyang, thesituation is so bad that there’s almost nothing to usefor kimjang [the making of kimchi],” the source basedin North Hamgyung Province told the Daily NK on Tuesday. “Orders have been handed down, requiring North Hamgyung to takeresponsibility for supplying kimjang vegetables for the people of Pyongyang.”The source said, “Thesevere drought that began early this year and damages from disease and insectshave ruined spring produce and also supplies for winter kimjang.” He added, “The cabinet [the executivebranch of the state largely responsible for economic policies] has ordered farmsin areas like Onsong and Kyungwon counties in North Hamgyung, where the supplywas relatively okay, to send the cabbages and radishes directly to Pyongyang.”This has led to a mass cancellation ofvegetable supplies scheduled to be handed out to military bases and statefactories and the ensuing jump in cabbage and radish prices by 500 KPW [0.06 USD as of November 5th] in themarket.Cabbages used to be 1,200-1,500 KPW [0.15-0.19 USD] perkilogram just until late last month, but that has recently jumped to 2,000 KPW [0.25 USD],according to the source. For an average five-member household kimjang, 500 kgof cabbages and 200 kg of radishes are needed, but this year with the pay-up toPyongyang on top of an already short supply, it is unlikely most families willget even half of their regular stock.In North Hamgyung Province, most familiesbegin kimjang on the 5th of this month, so household handouts need to beconcluded before that date, but this is hardly the case with the sudden orderfrom Pyongyang. Also, kimjang doesn’t begin in thecapital until the latter half of this month, and vegetables are sitting in thefields because the power shortage has prevented special transportation trainsfrom being mobilized.“The drought that lasted from springthrough all summer has caused trouble for proper sowing, and insects such asplant lice have brought on a lot of damage,” the sourceexplained. “The root cause of the ruined produce is thedrought that created a shortage in hydroelectric power and the followingdisruption in water pump operations.”After residents in the area heard about theorder from Pyongyang, some said, “We thought we wouldbe okay compared to other regions but now we get this from out of nowhere,” according to the source. Others have said, “They take everything and now they even take our cabbages andradishes? Are only people in Pyongyang considered humans?” he added.This is the second time since 2007 that theNorth has ordered an emergency supply for vegetables in Pyongyang. During thefirst incident, the supply train carrying all the kimjang vegetables from NorthHamgyung Province’s numerous counties faced a delay due toa shortage in power and resulted in thousands of tons of vegetables rotting.In the North, cabbages for kimjang areusually planted in early August and harvested late October or early November.The rainfall during this period is crucial in determining the yield of theyear. According to weather reports published by South Korea’s meteorological service, North Korea saw 89.6㎜ of rain in August, which falls short of the average 199.2㎜. Especially, areas in South Pyongan and South Hwanghae Provincesexperienced less than 30 percent of their average rainfall. September andOctober were also hit by severe dry spells with rain sprinkling only 40-50percent of the annual average.