Shared publicly  - 
 
What next for North Korea? Not long ago observers thought the new leader, Kim Jong Un, might prove a moderniser. But lately Mr Kim has reverted to type by prophesying war. On Tuesday, February 12th, at 9am GMT/ 6pm JST, Henry Tricks, The Economist's Tokyo bureau chief, will answer your questions about the country via Twitter. To post a question, comment below and use #askeconomist on twitter. For more info visit: http://econ.st/XxVRAo 
120
16
Saulius Balčas (SauliusB)'s profile photoapryl chakma's profile photoTae Kim's profile photoWoodrow Wilson Pickering Fellowships's profile photo
26 comments
 
Judging by the Bourbon on the shelf, they don't have any issues importing western goods into the country.
So I'd say we have a pretty good relationship :-)
Obama should open up the embassy there soon.
Translate
 
Don't be fooled, this is not a regular store. It has been especially set up for display.

It reminds me of Romania in the 80's, when regular stores where pretty much empty of useful stuff, except when Ceaușescu and the accompanying TV crew were visiting them. And then there were the duty-free shops for the foreigners and a few elite locals.
 
+misu moldovan Yep - like in the now outdated Russian joke in a department store where a customer asks "Do you have no umbrellas?" and the reply from the shop assistant is "No, this floor is No Clothes, the third floor is No Umbrellas"
 
+Cyrus Manz they'd never open an embassy in N. Korea. We are not allies with them and we have embassys in the South and the Military patrols the border line
 
Understand is required... wait ... is there oil reserves with K
NK?
 
no shoppers! must be for photo opt.
 
Nope,
we need an embassy in NK and a repeat of Bengazi:-)
 
Well Cyrus if your trying to be funny your not, my friend was killed in bengazi
 
Way to shoehorn in American politics into everything. Well done!
 
Everyone seems to have a friend who was killed in Benghazi. Given the numbers of casualties totaling four, the said individuals must have had an enormous number of friends.
That being said, I was being factitious in that this administration seems in capable of breaking an impasse with rogue regimes like Iran and NK.
In fact this administration's handy work so far has been to support new rogue regimes to come to power in places like Egypt, Libya Tunisia.
Bill M.
 
Even if this store was for real, I doubt the vast majority of N.Koreans could ever afford anything in it.
 
Those poor people are starving to death.
 
Nobody ever smiles over there.. . I know they don't have much to smile about... But it must also be against the law 
 
The clerk looks real happy:-)
 
Yes yes...once we figure out how they get all those European alcoholic beverage and tobacco through sanctions we should be good:-)
 
NK "showering" a yard of the south will be annihilated in 24 hours, so maybe its better to just feed them European alcohol and Tobacco while Obama is the President and we'll see what to do with the maniacs in 2016-17 
 
+GoST BaBeL  If you read the newspapers NK can not even feed it's own people.  It would be a very short war without the additional food aid the North is trying to extort from the US.  There is more to war than the missiles and ships you mention.
 
"I'll take 2 Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3's , 3 Taepodong-2's and a pack of Lucky Strikes to go please..."
 
+GoST BaBeL 
Why are americans so excited about another war to lose

That's what keeps us in the super power status:-)hahah
 
Perhaps NK should invade SK.  That army takes one look at the prosperity they've been denied and they might just turn around and handle the problem themselves...
 
they cant even fake a well stocked store...the shelf behind has an empty spot, there's no prices for the cigarettes and no cash register...looks like a set too, what is behind this aisle? Looks like the boxes for all this stuff.
 
Well unless it's a store in Manhattan the stuff has made it into NK, which begs the question as to how exactly....
If the picture is real then there is clearly a market for the stuff in NK and if there is a market that is subjected to significant prolonged sanctions, then how exactly does the stuff leak through?
 
it's gonna take time for North Koria to be lead by a mordenizer. it's the society that has power to modernize its country. as yet the North Korians haven't done that.
Add a comment...