what plays in Pyongyang

So the news media is all aflutter with how North Korea’s  Kim Jong Un walked into South Korea to shake hands with South Korea’s Moon Jae-in.  Diplomatic history, possible forecaster of cooling of relations and a sudden thaw in the dictatorship say the hopeful, possibly a ruse for Kim Jong Un to keep his military ambitions with a diversion say the pessimists.

But I wonder if we’re missing the big picture.  I mean, check out the top story in North Korea’s state news website.

Products from the Pyongyang Condiments Factory are very popular with not only Pyonyangites but also all provincial residents. The factory has been recognized as a superior one since the first Pyongyang Department Store No. 1 Goods Exhibition was held, and awarded certificates of the best or excellence at almost all rounds of the national consumer goods exhibition. The factory also has won fame at the 15th national invention and new technology exhibition and other sci-tech achievements exhibitions. 
“We value buds,” said the factory’s chief engineer Son Hyon Chol when he was asked about the secret of their success. 

You won’t find this reported anywhere in Western Media.

In 2014 the brand name of its products changed from Paeksong to Pommaji. But users of the products said that there was no particular change in them except for their brand name. This made a great impact on the workers of the factory. In fact, they were only content with the increase in production after the factory was reconstructed on a modern basis in 2013. The reality, however, demanded that they further improve the tastes and quality of condiments including soy and bean paste important in Koreans’ diet. Looking at the brand name Pommaji, decorated with patterns of new sprouts and flower buds, Son fell into deep thought. 

It’s a surer show that the winds of change are moving.

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