North Koreans seem to feel minimal impact from the recent economic sanctions, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Sunday, citing price data surveyed by Japan's Asia Press.
According to the data, the price of 1 kg of rice is 5,000 North Korean won in North Hamkyung province, which is only a slight increase and indicates no major difference from the past.
Rice prices in other parts of the country remain relatively stable as well. In some parts, corn prices even dropped.
While many factors come into play in determining prices, the international sanctions led by the United Nations against the regime since its fourth nuclear test in January are not major ones, the RFA concluded.
It was surprising, it added, to see prices of most necessities remain relatively steady even as China, the regime's biggest trade partner and economic benefactor, joined the sanctions.
"The success of the sanctions depends on how much China will participate in it," Ishimaru Jiro, who heads the Osaka office of Asia Press, was quoted as saying in the RFA's report. "The North Korean regime successfully keeps its people from knowing that China is part of the international coalition for the sanctions."
"When the sanctions continue and if China strengthens it, the livelihood of North Koreans would ultimately be affected," he was quoted as saying. (Yonhap)