- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Marshmallow pies have become so popular in North Korea that the nation’s most destitute are spending up to a day’s pay to snatch them up on the black market.

The average North Korean reportedly makes between $100 to $200 a month, but they are paying up to $10 for South Korea’s Choco-Pies, which are very similar to Moon Pies in the United States.

It is believed the North was first introduced to Choco-Pies via the Kaesong Industrial Complex - a South Korean factory that employed about 50,000 North Korean laborers, the Daily Mail reported.

The South Korean companies were banned from paying their North Korean employees cash bonuses and instead rewarded them with treats like the Choco-Pies.

One South Korean employer told CNN that his workers were ecstatic at the taste.

“It was clear that the workers had gotten at least some idea of capitalism and that it wasn’t all bad,” he said.

Black market values of the snacks soared after Pyongyang closed the Kaesong Industrial Complex, with some changing hands for up to $23, the Daily Mail said.

Advocacy groups have even begun sending Choco-Pies to North Korea in balloons.

An art exhibition opened up in New York this month called “The Choco Pie-ization of North Korea.” It’s meant to explore the “sad tragic story” of North Korea and what the Choco-Pies represent, the artist Jin Jo Chae told CNN.

“Through this Choco-Pie, I found the potential from chocolate as an object that changes a society,” Miss Chae said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide