- Vigilance Committee Intensify Crackdown on Jangmadang for their Living
- They Cannot Live Well with Only State Ration
- Conflict between Merchants and Vigilance Committee Stronger, More Frequent
- As Popular Anger Grows, State Orders Reducing Crackdown
Vigilance Committee, which is responsible to regulate jangmadang, is intensifying crackdown to maintain stable living standard of their own, so conflict with people is getting more frequent.
An informant from Pyongyang, who is visiting relative in China, said "recently, Vigilance Committee's crackdown on jangmadang is intensified, and this is not because they were ordered by the state but they did it to maintain their living standard."
Informant added "the committee members receive ration from the state, but they cannot live well with the ration only, and the motivation of stronger crackdown is to live prosperous lives for themselves."
North Korean people must get involved in business. However, the number of stands where people can legally do business and pay tax is limited, so it is inevitable that the so-called 'grasshopper', who does business on streets illegally, increases.
Vigilance committee confiscates goods from them or takes bribery by doing crackdown on illegal business people.
As crackdown is strengthened, popular dissent is also growing against them. They say "even during the Japanese colonial period, crackdown was not as severe as this. If they steal and levy fine on us every day, how can we survive?"
Therefore, in these days, fight among vigilance committee members and merchants are seen everywhere. The grasshopper merchants are quarreling against the vigilance committee who tries to confiscate their assets.
As the situation grows worse, North Korean authorities has ordered not to confiscate goods from the grasshopper merchants, in an attempt to alleviate popular anger. However, it is unlikely that people's dissatisfaction will be weaker. The crackdown is temporarily weakened, but vigilance committee members can initiate crackdown again anytime, if their lives are difficult.