The totalitarian regime has demanded each trade worker stationed in China pay 12,000 yuan (£1373) to the Pyongyang government. If the worker has a spouse they must double, to help deal with shortfalls in Kim’s public purse due to coronavirus, sanctions, and extreme flooding of agricultural land during the summer. Sources in China told Radio Free Asia one of the main reasons for the economic downturn was the closing of the border with China.
This has left North Korea economically isolated from its largest trading partner.
China is also the secluded nation’s main source of foreign currency.
An official of a trading company in the Chinese border town of Dandong said: “Due to the shutdown of the border, the trade workers are barely making money right now, so they are having a problem fulfilling the loyalty fund assignment.
“The workers also have to provide funds for their wife if they are married.
“So the total amount is 24,000 yuan (£2,746) per household
“They have to pay into the loyalty fund by the end of this month, so there is only about a week left.”
It has been reported that if workers cannot afford the “loyalty fund” then the company they are employed with must pay it.
The source added: “This is why the companies are pressuring the workers not to embarrass them.
“But, many voluntarily gave the maximum suggested donation of 12,000 yuan (£1373).
“Because of this, the authorities saw that they had the ability to pay more for the party congress loyalty fund.
“The authorities then set the minimum at 12,000 yuan (£1373).
“Donating 12,000 yuan (£1373) per person is totally doable under normal circumstances, but it is a huge burden right now because the border is closed due to the coronavirus.
“It’s also questionable whether the trade workers will be able to carry out the assignment by the end of the month if they have to double the amount for their wives.”