‘On establishing our new style economic management system’
When the Kim Jong Eun regime announced the 6.28 Measures, the world’s attention was focused on North Korea. The core ideas of the 6.28 Measures are as follows: first, the group members of collective farms are decreased to 4~6 people and the nation would give farms and enterprises the cost of producing goods upfront. Second, when the production reaches the target production level that the regime sets, 70% of production would go to the nation and 30% would go to the producers. Third, production and distribution would be processed at market prices.
The North Korean regime repeatedly advertised the 6.28 Measures through the Rodong Shinmun and TV. They also organized various lectures and briefing sessions which the North Korean citizens were subjected to. In an attempt to trial the measures, 3 cities in Yangkang Province were selected as model regions for the agricultural reforms.
5 months have passed since the 6.28 Measures were announced. However, the latest news from North Korea is different from what has been expected. The North Korean regime notified their citizens that the new measures would be enforced from October 1st. However, when October came around, it has been reported that education and enforcement measures on the 6.28 Measures were stopped. It was reported that the ‘individual’s distribution of 30%’ was actually hard to achieve in the farms that were selected in the trial regions. According to an Open Radio for North Korea source, the North Korean regime announced that there was to be no opening up from the 6.28 Measures.
Due to the worries about the introduction and ongoing problems of the 6.28 Measures, the exchange rates and prices in markets skyrocketed. In early March this year, the exchange rate for one dollar was 3,700 won; by late August, the exchange rate had risen to 7,600 won. Another thing that suffered due to the uncertainty was rice prices. In February this year, rice cost 3,100 won; however, at the end of August, this had risen to 7,000 won. At the time of writing, because of the harvest, the exchange rate is around 6,500 won and rice prices are about 6,000 won. Compared to the beginning of this year, the rates have increased almost by double. As a result, the lives of the North Korean people have become tougher.
The North Korean Korean Central Broadcasting Station recently reported on Hamheung’s wooden products factory and Pyongyang’s 1st department store. In those reports, they started to address the new economic management measures again. As a result, some reports have stated that the North’s 6.28 Measures will actually start from December 1st. Other reports have, however, focused on how Kim Jong Eun’s new economic measures will affect the lives of North Korean people.