Surviving by Bribing in North Korea

People in North Korea face “appalling” levels of hunger and have been driven to bribery to access health care, food, housing and jobs.

Meanwhile, huge sums are devoted to the country’s military capabilities, including an army of some 1 million men and women, according to a new UN report calling for the country to address its “profound human rights problems.”

The report details how the collapse of public assistance has given way to informal markets—a key lifeline that survives on bribes to state officials.

“If you just follow instructions coming from the State, you starve to death,” said one interviewee.

UN News


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