[북한읽기] Watching the Corona Exit Strategy of Residents ‘Escape at Risk’

North Korean military post installed on the riverside in Pungseo County, Ryanggang Province, North Korea (taken in February 2019). / Photo = Daily NK

Recently, as the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) has been prolonged, we hear a lot of news that residents who feel threatened to the survival of themselves and their families are trying to escape by any means possible.

According to Daily NK Yanggang Province sources on the 8th, a family was caught digging a tunnel in the Hyesan area to cross over to China, and in the “Popyeong” area, a soldier and a family succeeded in passing through a railroad sewer pipe to China.

The source who sent the news said that the residents often express their feelings of ‘something like this, dying that way, that’s the same’, and he observes that this phenomenon will increase even more.

An exit is literally a door to the outside, and an exit strategy is basically a strategy to get out of a bad situation. The reason North Koreans risk their lives to escape is because North Korea’s economic environment is not so good. If the people’s exit strategy is to risk their lives to escape from North Korea, what is the exit strategy for the North Korean economy?

An exit strategy is also necessary in the national economy for the survival of North Koreans. The best way to get out of today’s crisis of the worst economic downturn is ‘change’.

In other words, just like the meaning of an ‘exit strategy’ of withdrawing from a bad situation, we need to get out of today’s emergency and change the tone of our economic policy.

It is not only the North Korean economy that has been hardened by COVID-19. Since 2020, the global economy has been hit hard by COVID-19.

Governments around the world have taken measures such as strengthening quarantine measures, increasing fiscal spending, and suspending tourism. Naturally, the economic situation went in the wrong direction. North Korea replaced quarantine with an unprecedented strict blockade. We were faced with a situation where we had to bear more economic losses than neighboring countries.

In general, the exit strategy is to stop these measures and go back to normal. In order to adapt to the changing economic trends, it is necessary to restore the trust of the country’s economy through policies such as revitalizing trade, increasing fiscal spending to normalize industries such as agriculture and livestock, and lowering taxes.

In this abnormal state, special measures are needed to overcome the economy that has fallen even more abnormally due to the COVID-19 crisis. It must be boldly opened and reformed with certainty. The first priority is to lift the lockdown as soon as possible and supply goods to the market through exchanges.


Source: DailyNK by www.dailynk.com.

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