Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Free Market in North Korea

Despite North Korea's centralized and state-controlled economy there are 436 officially sanctioned markets located across the country. Since the 1990's famine, and against the backdrop of the collapse of financial support from the Soviet Union, the North Korean economy has begun to rely more and more on the private enterprise of street markets.

Beyond Parallel has created an interactive map showing the locations of General Markets in North Korea. If you select a market on the interactive map you can view the number of stalls in the market, its physical size and the annual rent paid to the government. The map also includes a slide control which allows you to filter the markets on the map by the amount of rent paid to the government. You can even view aerial imagery of the larger markets by switching to the 'Satellite Image' map layer.

The Beyond Parallel interactive map only shows the locations of officially recognized general markets. These markets must pay rents to the government. The map doesn't show unofficial or black markets. The unofficial markets are harder to map because they are often less permanent and often use makeshift or temporary structures and spaces.

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