Buying the favours of the strong men of North Korea

Kim Jong-il is trying to buy the favours of the military strong men by showering them with luxury items.

Perhaps Gareth Morgan needs to read this to find out his trip through North Korea might not have covered everything.

Imports of pets, saunas, alcohol and electronics into North Korea more than doubled in the year after Kim Jong-un took power in an apparent bid by the young leader to curry favour with senior officials and military officers.

According to a report submitted to the South Korean parliament today, imports of luxury goods amounted to $645.8 million in 2012, a sharp increase from the average of around $300 million a year under his father, Kim Jong-il.

Most of his people may be lacking food, medicine and access to most basic services, but the reclusive regime’s luxury purchases included pets, pet food, bathroom fittings, sauna systems and maternity products, Yonhap News quoted Yoon Sang-hyun, of the ruling Saenuri Party, as telling the parliament in Seoul. 

The data also pointed to a sudden increase in imports of musical instruments, cosmetics, handbags, leather products, watches and cars made in Japan and China.

Imports of bottles of high-end alcohol cost $30 million (£20 million), with electronic goods costing the state $37 million and luxury watches a further $8.2 million.

“The products were given as gifts to key figures in North Korean society to ensure their loyalty to the regime,” Mr Yoon told the parliament.

Kim is likely to be spending more than his father on senior members of the party and the military as he attempts to build his own power base from which to run the country.

There have been reports of dissent within sections of elite concerned at the youth and inexperience of their new leader and cars, pets and perfume are apparently bribes designed to quash any rumblings of discontent.


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  • James Growley

    No mention of the mistresses – I guess its because they don’t use up hard currency…

    • Dave

      They are trying to find a Nth Korean women with small “features” so as to match Lens abilities to buy his favour. However, after trying for years they have been unable to find anything suitable.

      • James Growley

        I believe the Japanese use lemon juice…..

  • Toryboy

    You mean the high end luxury goods are unavailable to everybody?? only a select few?? well fancy that.

  • conwaycaptain

    Same in all the Socialist Countries the top live off the High Hog and the masses starve.
    Even in a democratically elected country look at the Socialists. Blair is now a MULTI MULTI Millionaire. However I reckon he has got these “jobs” as hush money.

    • Vlad

      Not just socialist countries….look at the wretch Al Gore who has trousered millions from promoting global warming propaganda.

  • cows4me

    Why would a man God need to shower the military leaders with gifts?. Surely showering the army with his magnificence and holiness would suffice.

  • Col

    This is all bullshit, ask Morgan he will tell you these gifts are for the well feed people of NK, the ones who are working in the dry barren fields with no crops and who are all on weight watchers diet.
    True ask him!!!

  • surfisup

    Hes doing the right thing to hold onto power.

    But, to buy this stuff he must get foreign money.

    Heres an interesting article on how Nth Korea makes it’s money for buying international goods.