Free Market Policy Raising Public Expectations

first_img Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Analysis & Opinion Facebook Twitter Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] SHARE Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Free Market Policy Raising Public Expectations Analysis & Opinion By Kang Mi Jin – 2012.06.21 4:06pm It has been six months since Kim Jong Il’s death. Contrary to international concerns, Kim Jong Eun appears to have landed softly in position. However, a lot of North Korean people still remain skeptical. Some are sure that the new broom will bring change; however, others merely anticipate more of the same. The expectations of some people are not unrelated to the ‘festive atmosphere’ which continued throughout the first quarter of the year. As one Pyongyang source told Daily NK, “After comrade Kim Jong Eun took over the country, state distribution increased.” Orders were handed out stating that five days of food should be handed out to families in all corners of the nation to celebrate Lunar [Chinese] New Year in January. Ultimately, rations differed from region to region, but there was nobody who didn’t get at least three days of food.Then, on Kim Jong Il’s birthday (February 16th), gift boxes from Kim Jong Eun were handed out to provincial and municipal Party cadres. The packs included fruit, oil and processed foods imported from China. At the same time, ordinary people received ‘special distribution’ of about three to five days of food. But the employment of special distribution to engender a feeling of progress really reached its peak on the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth on April 15th, when the special distribution list contained a total of 15 items. Incomparable with Kim Il Sung’s days, of course, but still good compared to the Kim Jong Il era. There was sticky rice, soybean oil, pork, sugar, rice liquor, fish, confectionary and fruit. There were even slips which could be exchanged for soap, socks and other manufactured goods at state-run shops worth 40,000-50,000 won at market exchange rates.Kim Jong Eun took the utmost advantage of this festive atmosphere in his public speeches, emphasizing the need to “improve the people’s lives”. This was the image from the start. During his first public speech on the Day of the Sun, Kim said, “Our people will not have to tighten their belts anymore”. During his speech for the 66th anniversary of the founding of the Chosun Children’s Union, he underscored, “We need to cultivate and create a bright reality from the seeds planted by comrade Kim Jong Il so as to improve the lives of the people.” However, on the dark side of this festive atmosphere there existed a growing public burden. One North Hamkyung Province source pointed out, “The comrade Kim Jong Eun era did bring slightly more rations, but ultimately it was the people who made it happen.”Notably, in the first quarter of this year the people were faced with paying for: ▲ Kim Jong Il memorials; ▲ April events for Kim Il Sung’s 100th anniversary; and ▲ projects to try and increase agricultural productivity. In January, farmers from cooperative farms and workers in state enterprises had to give 500-5,000 won per household for the construction of Kim Jong Il memorial towers nationwide. Students had to come up with 300-600g of copper. On top of that, 10kg of scrap metal was collected per person in advance of the April 15th events. Those who failed to give faced missing out on the upcoming special distribution. In Musan, North Hamkyung Province, the cost of local beautification and arts performances was handed on to the people; 20,000 won per household. In Chongjin, 10,000 won was paid per household to send supplies to local bases in commemoration of Chosun People’s Army Founding Day on April 25th. It is unlikely that Chongjin was the only place where this occurred. There was also the annual call for fertilizer.On May 22nd, mass mobilization for the planting season began. This one month ‘agricultural battle’ was extended for a second month due to delays caused by weather. It was a “70-day battle”, according to the official branding.So, we can say that while state distribution increased, so did the burden of provision passed on to the people. However, there is more to it than that. The most important thing is that in the markets people are still feeling bullish. This is because there are clear signs of relaxation. Since 2005-6 market traders had faced a dizzying array of restrictions on activities, from price limits to age limits to reduced opening hours to foreign currency usage to the banning of South Korean products.However, the six months under Kim Jong Eun rule have been, by and large, the most tranquil in ten years, the result of no distinct market control policy being iplemented. Markets were temporarily suspended late last year after Kim Jong Il’s death, to be sure, but once they reopened they largely continued unimpeded. Even the announcements that were made (compelling state prices to be adhered to, for example) did not last long, and since February it has been business as usual.As a result, food prices and exchange rates have remained stablem, something which is sure to placate public opinion. At the end of last year, not long before Kim Jong Il died, rice had briefly traded for 5,000 won/kg, but it has since dropped to hover at around 3,000 won, while the U.S. Dollar has been passing back and forth across the 4,000 won boundary.North Korean sources predict that this will continue at least until the end of this year. The belief is that since Central Party authority over production and distribution has now become meaningless, local and central authorities will acquiesce to market forces, while at the same time keeping the symbolic state distribution system on life support using non-tax burdens passed to the people and overseas foreign currency earning enterprises. This state of affairs is largely appreciated by the people. As a Shinuiju source commented, “In essence, because the authorities are not controlling the markets, there is not much negativity in public opinion. The people’s perspective is that it is far better for the authorities to allow them to trade while taking a bit off the top than to give state distribution but block access to trade.”However, there is still the risk that as Kim Jong Eun becomes more confident in his power to control events, he might take back some of the newfound market freedoms. A Yangkang Province source pointed to these concerns, saying, “Right now our money has no value as money. There are even rumors that they will do another currency redenomination soon. Allowing the markets means that they are allowing capitalism, and there are significant doubts as to whether out country can really go in that direction.” Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

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Turnover rise fails to deliver higher profits for Cripps

first_img‘This is the fourth consecutive year the firm has exceeded its previous year’s results. Since 2012/13, Cripps has seen more than 60% growth,’ the firm said.The results have yet to be officially filed with Companies House but the firm said its profits of £6m had ‘exceeded its target by 4%’. For the year ending April 2016, operating profits stood at £7m. A spokesperson for the firm said the dip was due to the firm moving to a new purpose build head office at the end of last year as well as upgrading its IT infrastructure.Profit per equity partner stood at £262,800.Cripps has offices in Tunbridge Wells, Kings Hill and London. The firm has 49 partners and an overall headcount of more than 350. Four successive years of turnover growth at top-100 firm Cripps have failed to deliver higher profits, the practice revealed today.  The firm’s results for the year ending 30 April 2017 show revenue of £29.2 million, up 3.5% from £28.2m the previous year.last_img read more

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Brady scales the heights at Mountain Shadow

first_imgPSC golf Bunker Boys @ The RanchMonday, July 7, Bangpra – StablefordFifteen golfers today for our competition at the monkey course, which is currently in great condition and offers good value for money.We were able to tee off a few minutes ahead of schedule, but unfortunately there was another local society ahead of us and the leading group were forced to wait on every shot, in what turned out to be a long round compared to the millionaire’s golf we’ve experienced in the last few weeks.  The greens were a little slower than normal, especially on uphill putts, but downhill putts were as slick as ever, which caught out a few players.  Mashi Kaneta has a great short game and coped with the tricky greens better than anyone else, coming home with a creditable 37 points. Paul Smith finds form after a 6-week layoff.Paul Smith re-found his form in his third game back following a six week layoff, taking second place ahead of Geoff Parker who scraped into third, beating the unlucky Tony Robbins on a count back.1st Mashi Kaneta (12) 37pts2nd Paul Smith (3) 35pts3rd Geoff Parker (14) 33ptsNear Pins: Andy Brady, John Graham, Rab McDonald and Mashi Kaneta.Wednesday, July 9, Royal Lakeside – StablefordA return to millionaire’s golf today as we arrived at the imposing clubhouse to find that we were the only players there.  The weather hadn’t looked too promising when we left Pattaya, but here it was sunny with a strong breeze keeping the temperature down to a near perfect level.We were able to tee off at our leisure and it was quickly apparent that the breeze was getting stronger, making what is already a long course (6,653 yards from the blue tees) play even longer into the wind.  The course was in great condition and the greens were as tricky as ever, having fully recovered from the recent treatment which we’d to contend with on our previous visit.When we reached the par-five 7th hole the wind was almost gusting to gale force and your scribe can’t remember playing in a stronger wind in over 15 years of golfing experience in Thailand.Steve Durey coped with the difficult conditions better than anyone and was the only player who managed to play to his handicap, taking first place on the day. The ever consistent Gerry Cooney took second place one point ahead of Paul Smith who had the consolation of taking two of the four near pin prizes.1st Steve Durey (22) 36pts2nd Gerry Cooney (13) 34pts3rd Paul Smith (3) 33ptsNear Pins: Gerry Cooney, Rab McDonald and Paul Smith(2).Friday, July 11, Mt. Shadow – StablefordA public holiday today and the rain was falling heavily as your scribe left home for the journey to The Ranch.  As we sat in the bar watching the rain pounding on Third Road, the prospects of getting a game looked grim indeed, but eventually enough regular die-hards wandered in, and we were able to raise two groups to set off on the journey to Sri Racha, wondering whether the trip would be in vain.As we approached Mountain Shadow the sky brightened and the rain stopped.  Although the car park was busy there were no golfers waiting to tee off and the leading group set off with no one in sight ahead of them.The conditions were almost perfect with the overcast sky keeping the temperature cool, the fairways now green but dry, and showing no signs of the recent rain.  The greens were also soft and much more receptive than on our previous visit, so all in all, the course was in great condition and excellent value for money at the reduced holiday rate.The outward nine was completed in double quick time but as we approached the clubhouse there was a large number of golfers waiting to tee off, and the starter in his wisdom, was allowing several groups to start from the 10th hole, causing some problems and delays.Andy Brady produced by far the best round of his visit so far, coming back to the clubhouse with an impressive total of 42 points, which was a great recovery after recording blobs on the 2nd and 3rd holes.  Andy’s playing partner Steve Durey also carded a good score of 38 points (probably normally good enough to win here), taking second place three points clear of Mashi Kaneta in third.All in all it was a great day’s golf at a very reasonable holiday price, so those fair-weather golfers who were deterred by the early morning rain missed out – and after all, what better way to spend the day when all the bars are closed!1st Andy Brady (17) 42pts2nd Steve Durey (22) 38pts3rd Mashi Kaneta (12) 35ptsNear Pins: Geoff Parker, Mashi Kaneta and Andy Brady (2).Note:  The Bunker Boys are a PSC affiliated golf society, who now play out of The Ranch bar on Pattaya 3rd Road (in front of the fire station, and almost opposite the Buffalo Bar).  We play on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so if you enjoy a fun day out, and a friendly but competitive golf competition why not come and join us. We meet at The Ranch at 9 a.m. for breakfast and transportation, and new players are always welcome.Contact “Buff” on 086 046 5091 or 080 605 5663 for all enquiries or check website: www.bunkersociety.com.last_img read more

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Selkirk College Saints Look to Reverse Trend at Home

first_img“We’ve talked about what it’s going to take to flip those results… that’s the difference of us scoring on a breakaway or scoring on a two-on-one or one of those shots off the crossbar going in,” said Hnatiuk, who is in first year behind the Saints’ bench. “It’s not from lack of effort or structure. Certainly even more effort will be required in the coming weeks, but if we do the little things right then we can find our way out of these struggles.”With ten games remaining in the regular season, the Saints sit fourth in the BCIHL standings with only a two-point cushion on last place University of Victoria. With the top-four teams making the playoffs, every remaining game will be of vital importance.The Saints host the second place Vancouver Island University Mariners on Friday and Saturday (January 10/11) night at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre. With a 1-2 record against the Mariners in the first half of the season, it will be critical series for both teams.“It’s a huge weekend for us and that will be the case for the rest of the season,” said Hnatiuk. “This is a team we need to catch in the standings and we need to make sure we secure a playoff spot. It’s going to be a battle and we are going to have to push to ensure we get those points.”Despite the current losing streak and the challenges ahead, the mood in Saints camp remains positive.“You get frustrated with the losses and obviously it doesn’t sit well with the guys in the dressing room,” Hnatiuk said. “But this team believes that we can peak at the right time and have a big push down the stretch.”The Friday and Saturday night games in Castlegar start at 7 p.m. It’s been a difficult stretch for the Selkirk College Saints, but as the Winter Semester gets rolling the team is focused on flipping their fortunes during the drive to the post-season.The Saints opened 2020 with a weekend home series against the undefeated Trinity Western University Spartans where the powerhouse Langley-based team topped the Selkirk College squad 6-3 on Saturday night and 6-4 on Sunday afternoon to keep their British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) record unblemished at 11-0.The results added to the Saints current eight game losing streak.“There is a reason that Trinity Western is undefeated so far this season, they are a very good hockey team no question,” said Saints’ head coach Dave Hnatiuk. “I don’t think it was lack of effort, we just had some trouble scoring goals and made too many mistakes. You can’t do that against a team like that.”The opening weekend of the new year was a reflection of the Saints first semester where they played well, but ultimately couldn’t find the back of the net. Coming into the two-game set against the Spartans, the Saints lost five games in a row by one goal that included three in overtime.last_img read more

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Islanders Come up Short at SMU

first_imgThe Islanders (3-1) lost a tough doubles point on courts one and two as the sophomore duo of Paul Cook and Kevin Bettendroffer dropped their first loss of the season at No. 2 doubles. The pair came up short 6-1 to Nate Lammons and Arkadijs Slobodkins. SMU then captured the doubles point after Arturs Kazijevs and Markus Kerner defeated the senior-junior pair of Peter Nagy and Guillaume Rauseo, 6-4, at No. 1 doubles. After picking up their first doubles win of the season on Tuesday, Arthur Bedel and Mitchell Cook were trailing SMU’s Samm Butler and Tony Russell, 5-2, at No. 3 doubles when the point was clinched.  The Mustangs earned their fifth and final point of the day in No. 3 singles after Butler rallied back against Ricardo Mayagoitia after being a set and a break down. Mayagoitia garnered the first set 6-4, before Butler answered back with a 6-4 second-set win and 6-3 third-set victory. SMU carried its momentum over into singles play to take a 3-0 lead after picking up straight-set wins on courts five and six. Javier Pujol fell 6-1, 6-2 to Slobodkins in No. 5 singles for his first loss of the season. P. Cook also came up short in No. 6 singles, 6-3, 6-4 to Charles Nettlefold. SMU battled back from a set and a break down at three and four to claim the victory at home against a scrappy Islander team. At No. 4 singles, Rauseo bested Lammons 6-3, in the first set before Lammons rallied back to top Rauseo 6-4 in the second and 6-1 in the third to give SMU its clinching fourth point.  The final four singles matches featured three-setters. Bettendroffer put the Islanders on the board with a come-from-behind victory in No. 2 singles. The sophomore dropped the first set 6-1, before bouncing back to edge Kerner 7-5 in the second set. In the third, Bettendroffer closed out a 6-1 win for his third win of the season.center_img The highlight of the night was Nagy’s thrilling match at No. 1 singles. After dropping the first set, the senior battled back with some great shots in the second and third to win, 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 over Kazijevs, who was ranked in the ITA national rankings last season. SMU 5, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2DALLAS, Texas – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men’s tennis team suffered a heartbreaking 5-2, loss tonight against a very tough SMU squad at the SMU Indoor Tennis Complex. The Mustangs (7-1) clinched the doubles point before securing four of the six singles matches. The men will remain on the road to face Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m.last_img read more

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Marshfield volleyball sweeps Antigo in regular-season finale

first_imgTigers host Wausau East in playoff opener Oct. 20By Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD — The Marshfield volleyball team wrapped up its regular-season schedule with a 3-0 sweep of Antigo in a nonconference match Thursday night at Marshfield High School as the Tigers celebrated Senior Night.The Tigers won all three games by identical 25-16 scores.Stephanie Rhodes had 14 kills, four service aces, and 17 digs; Anna Ripp added 33 assists and 19 digs; Maureen Cassidy had 14 digs; and Alexa Aumann had nine kills for Marshfield.“This was an awesome way to end our regular season and celebrate our seniors,” Marshfield coach Dawn Sadowska said. “Everyone contributed, and we are feeling confident heading into postseason play.”Marshfield opens the WIAA playoffs with a Division 1 regional semifinal at home against Wausau East on Oct. 20.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)last_img read more

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Remote Seller Tax Collection Not Yet Required in Wyoming

first_imgWyoming  does not currently require remote sellers to license with the state and collect sales tax. However, the Department of Revenue will notify taxpayers online when it will enforce collection.For now, remote businesses may voluntarily register with the state.Remote Seller RegistrationRemote sellers may register using:the Wyoming Electronic Filing System (WYIFS); orthe Streamlined Sales Tax Registration system. Licenses are active until cancelled by the taxpayer.Sales tax returns may be electronically filed using WYIFS.Remote Sellers, Wyoming Department of Revenue, August 7, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img

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Vijay Hazare Trophy: Unmukt Chand slams hundred with broken jaw for Delhi

first_imgICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup winning captain, Unmukt Chand did not let a broken jaw stand in the way as he slammed a sublime century and powered Delhi to a 55-run victory over Uttar Pradesh in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.Chand was dropped from the semifinal and final of the Ranji Trophy after a poor run of form, but regained his confidence with a half-century in the title clash of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, which his team won.WATCHSent into bat after UP won the toss, Delhi rode on Chand’s 116 off 125 balls to notch up a competitive 307 for six in the allotted 50 overs.A former U-19 World Cup winning captain, Chand was injured in the nets, just before the start of the match.But he showed courage and belted 12 boundaries and three sixes during his stay in the middle.Chand’s opening partner, Hiten Dalal, was the next best scorer with 57 off 64 balls, hitting eight fours.The two added 107 runs for the first wicket, laying a solid foundation for Delhi to make a big total.Dhruv Shorey and Nitish Rana contributed 31 each, while Rishabh Pant smashed a brisk 18-ball 28 with the help of three fours and two sixes.For Uttar Pradesh, middle-order batsman Umang Sharma scored a fine 102 off 104, but his effort went in vain as left-arm pacer Kulwant Khejroliya grabbed four wickets, including that of the centurion, to help Delhi bowl out their opponents for 252 in 45.3 overs at the Luhnu Cricket Ground.UP skipper Akshdeep Nath made a breezy 54 off 49 balls, hitting five boundaries and a six, while Sharma found the fence seven times and cleared it thrice.advertisementDelhi captain Pradeep Sangwan, who struck twice early, finished with 3/28 in seven overs, while Khejroliya had figures of 4/34 in 8.3 overs.Brief Scores:Delhi: 307 for 6 in 50 overs (Unmukt Chand 116, Hiten Dalal 57; Kartik Tyagi 2/50, Ankit Rajpoot 2/61).Uttar Pradesh: 252 all out in 45.3 overs (Umang Sharma 102, Akshdeep Nath 54; Kulwant Khejroliya 4/34, Pradeep Sangwan 3/28).(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

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a month agoFikayo Tomori on Chelsea screamer: I thought ‘why not?’

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Fikayo Tomori on Chelsea screamer: I thought ‘why not?’by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFikayo Tomori has spoken of his wonder goal in Chelsea’s win at Wolves.The fullback hit a screamer for the 5-2 win.”First up Azpi was calling me back to stop the counter-attack, and the ball broke out,” he told chelseafc.com.”I thought ‘why not?’ and thankfully it managed to hit the back of the net. I’m obviously really pleased!”In training the past couple of weeks Willy Caballero’s been giving me a bit because I’ve skied a few! I just wanted to concentrate on trying to keep it down and hitting the target.” last_img

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