Upon the news of Kim Jong Il’s death, the National Security Agency has handed down restrictions against the gathering of more than five people, and has shut down trade markets. In addition, the authorities have blocked all North Koreans’ entry into China, and forced those who have already been in China for trading to return. Traders who deal with Chinese goods have been forced to cancel their orders from Chinese suppliers upon learning of the market closure.
Regarding Kim Jong Il’s death, a source from Yangkang Province said on the 19th, “Unlike when Kim Il Sung died, people accepted Kim Jong Il’s death as an expected thing calmly and placidly and looked composed as if they were going to cope with things, which possibly may happen in the near future.”
According to the source, some people pretended to be shocked and shed tears while watching cadres, but most of them seemed to feel that the day should have come earlier.
Another source from Yanbian in China, who trades with North Koreans, reported yesterday that, “North Korean people’s voices were not so different from usual, and (they) asked me to refund the goods they have already ordered, saying: ‘Do I really need to explain why to you? Please refund them’.”
The Yangkang Province source also noted that, “The thing North Koreans worry about right now is not Kim Jong Il’s death, but the market situation because they anticipate that when markets are shut down and the custom houses are also closed, the exchange rate will plunge and at the same time market prices will soar.” He added, “They will concentrate on how the political situation is developing from now on.”