It is common in the media to hear how North Korea is “the last Stalinist state”. It’s easy to fall for this, as North Korea puts up a very good Socialist-type show. However, as Andrei Lankov points out, North Korea is now a country with a market economy.
In the 1990s, as Communism collapsed, North Korea was suddenly unable to feed its own people. Underground markets suddenly sprung up and despite the best efforts of the State to quell them, they still exist. The government has been forced to more or less go along with this, as they can’t feed their own people and some North Korean businessmen, especially those who are traders, are able to bring in some badly needed foreign currency.
Professor B.R. Myers points out elsewhere that in the latest revision to the DPRK constitution, all references to Communism, Marxism, and the like were removed. Instead, the “Military First” or Songun Policy is the new state ideology.
You can read more about North Korea and its emerging markets by clicking here.
Also, if you’ve ever wondered what news the North Koreans in the official state newspaper, you can read this article.