After spending a reported $100 million on memorials for late leader Kim Jong-il, North Korea is facing serious financial difficulties. North Korea spent $10 million on a 23-meter statue of Kim placed in Pyongyang- the capital- in April.
They also commissioned seven similar statues to be built around the country totaling roughly $50 million.
It doesn’t stop there. They spent another $25 million on inscriptions of his name on 3,200 “Towers of Eternal Life” at crossroads around the country. All this in order to brand the name of the Kim dynasty.
“Kim Il-sung is the brand,” says the author of Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty, Bradley K Martin. “Life in North Korea improved while he was running the country and got worse under his son Kim Jong-il. People remember that, so the boy leader is being cast as the spitting image of his grandfather.”
The country has spent so much money that it is now asking North Koreans working overseas to donate $150 each to help pay for the memorials. If this isn’t enough, the country is also borrowing money from Asian and Russian Banks, and European Loan Sharks at interest rates as high as 40%.
“If it doesn’t have the money, the regime should stop building statues,” says a North Korean defector. “Instead it’s resorting to extortion.”
Before we all jump for joy for North Korea’s imminent bankruptcy- let us not forget that the people of the country are likely to suffer severely before the government allows itself to run out of funding.
Paul Hudson | Elite.