April 12, 2013

THE LEAST WE CAN DO FOR THEM IS REMOVE THE REGIME:

Here's How Lousy Life Is in North Korea (RICK NEWMAN, April 12, 2013, US News)

While it's difficult to get accurate information about North Korea - a police state that rarely admits foreigners - refugees and other sources of information have helped outsiders sketch the country's bankrupt economy. Here's a snapshot of life in North Korea:

- Annual GDP per capita is about $1,800, which ranks 197th in the world, according to the CIA World Factbook. GDP is 28 times higher in the United States and 18 times higher in South Korea.

- About half of North Korea's population of 24 million lives in "extreme poverty," according to the KUNI report. These people subsist on corn and kimchi and "are severely restricted in access to fuel for cooking and heating."

- One-third of children are stunted, due to malnutrition, according to the World Food Program.

- The average life expectancy, 69, has fallen by five years since the early 1980s, according to the blog North Korea Economy Watch. The blog notes that those figures are based on official statistics, so the real numbers could be even lower.

- Inflation may be as high as 100 percent, due to mismanagement of the currency.

- Most workers earn $2 to $3 per month in pay from the government. Some work on the side or sell goods in local markets, earning an extra $10 per month or so.

- Most homes and apartments are heated by open fireplaces burning wood or briquettes. Many lack flush toilets.

- Electric power is sporadic and unreliable, with homes that have electricity often receiving just a few hours per day.
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Posted by at April 12, 2013 8:46 PM
  

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