Korea: January 26, 2005


The North Korean government is offering houses, cars and cash bonuses to members of its national soccer team, as the players get ready for a game against the Japanese national team on February 9th. This is a qualifying match for the World Cup tournament, but to defeat Japan is a very big deal throughout all of Korea. Offering such bonuses openly goes against the egalitarian propaganda in North Korea, but when it comes to defeating the Japanese, the usual rules are  ignored. However, these bonuses also make public the much higher standard of living available to the Communist Party elite. Only about ten percent of the population share this largess, and less than one percent of North Koreans have access to the luxury homes, automobiles and all the food they can eat. 


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