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Date : May 30, 2013
North Koreans Calling for Refund of Roller Skates
   http://english.nkradio.org/link/north-koreans-calling-for-refund-of-ro… [738]
Through a phone interview with our source for trade related issues in Shineui-ju, North Korea on May 21st, Open Radio for North Korea reported that trade wholesalers of Chinese roller skate are in a difficult situation right now.
After Kim Jong Eun said that roller skating is a good exercise for children and adults, roller skating boomed in popularity not only in Pyongyang but also other regions. However, because of frequent trouble and accidents that occurred while wearing Chinese made roller skates, which traders and individual merchants imported from China, there has been an increase in claims for refund.
When roller skates were first circulated in Pyongyang, the quality was good enough that they could last for few months. However, as demand increased tremendously, extremely low-quality roller skates began to be circulated. The low-quality roller skates cannot last even one day because the bottom part of roller skate becomes damaged or a wheel falls off. The huge demand for roller skates and the desire to make more and more roller skates cheaply influenced the decrease in quality.
It is widely known that numerous accidents have been occurring since the circulation of the low-quality roller skates. Many people are suffering from bone fractures because of the low-quality roller skates. Our source commented that in every region there are people sporting plaster casts because of roller skating related injuries.

The injuries are not only the result of the faulty roller skates, but also from arguments and physical fighting between customers who want a refund, and merchants who do not want to pay. However, increasing numbers of merchants, who import roller skates from China and circulate them in North Korea, are returning those roller skates even though they have to pay themselves to send them back.
Currently, the price of Chinese roller skates that are sold in North Korea vary from 120 Chinese Yuan to 500~800 Yuan, and some rich people buy them directly in China.
The source said that the price of roller skate is almost the same as the price of 30kg of rice (around 120 Yuan). Despite that, North Korean parents are still buying them because, without them, their child may get bullied. However, the frequent malfunctioning is raising people’s complaints. Furthermore, people are criticizing Kim Jong Eun, who  incited this situation, by saying, “He is thoughtless and insane.”
Source: Open Radio for North Korea

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