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White Horses: Kim’s Nationalistic Display Remarkably Capitalistic
IRs and horse betting are leading the charge towards increasing revenues in sanction-saddled North Korea.
North Korea appears to have developed an intriguing adaptation to the global climate with its regulation model.
In a country where punters once risked three years hard labour, betting on local horse races is now being permitted as a way to mine new sources of liquidity in light of harsh and intensifying global sanctions.
Kim Goes Elvis?
A new economic campaign to bring in new sources of liquidity in North Korea is afoot, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un overseeing fervent construction of new resorts, swimming pools and other luxury leisure facilities to tap into the privatized wealth of growing individual markets.
New Race Order
The new horseracing era was launched with a series of races Sunday at Pyongyang’s Mirim Horse Riding Club, which is not only a horseracing venue, but part of one of Kim’s greater flagship leisure developments, according to North Korea’s official KCNA news agency.
Lest Ye Forget
Jong Un also apparently is taking the time to advance the ideology of his villainised government, with pictures from the race showing hundreds of spectators watching and filming a field of mostly white-grey horses, the long-standing propaganda symbol associated with the Kim family dynasty.
Wager, Why Not?
So just like that, a country pressed under the thumb of Communist ideology forbearance of games of chance and rebuke of government is welcoming hoardes of gamblers and spectators.
Amazing the power economic capitalist forces have over rigid Communist government policy.
Removing the Mask
North Korean scholar Na Jeong-won, head of the North Korea Industry-Economy Research Institute in Seoul, characterizes the white horses as a veneer of desperation:
“Kim has been pushing for vanity projects for a theme park, sky resort and the horse riding club for the sake of propping up the people’s well-being but their real purpose was to earn foreign currency,”
Contributors to the Economy
The real question is, who is going to populate and patronize Kim’s new revenue sources?
Researcher Lee Sang-keun of the Institute of Unification Studies at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University claims the answer is affluent North Koreans.
“You may have ridiculed Kim Jong Un for constructing lavish facilities while struggling to feed the people, but those things are to make foreign currency, not from foreigners but from the well-offs inside North Korea because you have to pay in US dollars or Chinese renminbi there,” said Lee.
As currently subjected to far worse than ridicule for far worse than building his own version of IR’s, Kim Jong Un’s insulation continues.
To wit, Lee cites insulation in the fact that “many North Koreans make lots of money from the market” and “dine at hamburger restaurants and go shopping” to contribute to the Kim regime’s coffers to maintain “some financial latitude despite international sanctions.”
Regulation’s Familiar Function
Apparently, gambling and patronage at IRs featuring gambling is part of Kim’s measures to increase government revenues.
Well, all with all online regulation worldwide designed to increase government revenues, why should the process of harnessing online benefits in one of the world’s currently most reviled nations be any different?
Bottom Line Sans Borders
As the most defiant world leader in the world is clearly asserting, who cares about government policy when money is on the line?