North Korea is a mysterious country. But in this place, as in other parts of the world, there is also the upper class, whose life is very different from that of other citizens.
O incredible.club shows in this post what North Korea’s richest people spend their money on.
The computers so common to all of us are an extraordinary luxury for North Koreans. Rich people can afford to get a MacBook, which will cost them around $1. However, for that, they need to get permission from the authorities. That’s why in North Korea the black market thrives. It is the means used to sell simple computers assembled with different parts. The price of these devices reaches USD 200, while a laptop can be had for USD 300 to USD 500. This price is quite high for ordinary workers, as the average salary of a North Korean ranges from USD 150 to $200 a month.
2. Cell phones
Cell phones are an inseparable part of our lives. We can be connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week and keep in touch with people on the other side of the planet. However, in North Korea everything is very different. Even if you are one of the lucky people who managed to obtain a cell phone, calls to foreign countries are prohibited, Internet access is limited, and calls and correspondence are monitored by the authorities.
To buy a cell phone legally, you have to sign a lot of paperwork and pay around US$300. To have a 2Gb Internet service, the price would come out to US$200. It is also possible to buy a cell phone on the black market; but if you are caught, you will be convicted of treason, which is considered the ultimate crime in North Korea.
3. Plastic surgery
South Korea is the capital of plastic surgery. But in the northern neighbor, things are quite different. Not all North Koreans can afford that luxury. If you don’t have enough money, you can get plastic surgery for US$3, which is acceptable for North Korean women. However, such procedures are dangerous because, in most cases, they are performed at home without the necessary surgical instruments and the unsanitary conditions can cause all kinds of infections.
The variety of clothes in North Korea is limited and its inhabitants usually wear work uniforms or everyday clothes in neutral tones. However, the rich can afford to wear designer clothes. The demand for branded clothing is greater than the amount of clothing available, which, by the old law of supply and demand, leads to pieces by famous designers at prices in excess of US$ 2,000.
These prices exclude 99% of North Korean citizens from buying the latest fashions. Second-hand stores are much more popular and you can also buy a designer suit for $250. The only item not available to any resident is jeans, as they symbolize support for western capitalism.
Residents of North Korea have a limit on alcohol consumption, as in most restaurants, strong drinks are prohibited. A ban on the sale of alcohol also exists in markets. Only at specialized points of sale is it possible to get a bottle of your favorite wine. In addition, a good drink is a great rarity and costs a lot.
In North Korea, the watch is a symbol of high status in society. The most influential people opt for imported products, thus showing that they have the possibility to buy objects abroad. At events, dictator Kim Jong-un gives watches to senior officials as a symbol of his loyalty to the country.
7. Ski resorts
The North Korean ski resort “Masikryong Ski Resort” is basically available to tourists and also to the richest inhabitants of the country. The resort includes the price of the luxury hotel and restaurants. Also, here you can buy imported products. The cost of a 3-day vacation starts at $430.
For people in North Korea, marriage is a way to show off your wealth. An exceptional tradition of the nuptial ceremony is that, instead of civil registration, the bride and groom get married before the statue of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the North Korean state and grandfather of Kim Jong-Un. Relatives, friends and colleagues are invited to the wedding. Giving the couple dollars as a gift is considered a luxury as it reflects their high status in society. Guests who cannot afford an expensive gift borrow money from the state.
Life in Pyongyang is very different from life in the countryside. In the capital there are shopping malls, luxury restaurants, gyms and stores with expensive household appliances. And only rich people are able to buy or use these services, as a cup of coffee costs the average salary of a provincial resident.
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