Pyongyang, North Korea – A few years ago it was difficult to find any goods, never mind foreign ones, in North Korea – one of the poorest countries in East Asia. But that isn’t the case anymore.
Now products from all over the world are widely available in small shops in North Korea’s capital and other major cities, including Swiss chocolates, bags of Dorito chips, German sausages, Coca-Cola – even fine Italian wine.
Some luxury items have been restricted by UN sanctions, but North Korea still manages to import them through underground channels. Chinese brokers act as middlemen between North Korean trading firms and China-based companies, ensuring a continuous flow of goods and equipment into the largely impoverished country.
A middle class in a nation officially without class structure continues to grow while possessing increased spending power. That said, the majority of North Koreans still rely heavily on international aid in order to survive.