Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaders It is assumed that the North Korean authorities are trying to prevent knowledge of the gold mining operations to be exposed to travelers around the border cities of China. Facebook Twitter NewsEconomy North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again “These days, the working teams earning foreign currency under the Ryanggang Ministry of State Security and the Prosecutor’s Office are collecting sand near the Amnok River every other day. It makes sense to complete the washing-off process using waters from the Amnok River, but it’s all being brought to the city to be washed off. The authorities seem to sensitive to a potential leak of information,” a source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK on June 19. The North Korean authorities have intervened in alluvial gold mining operations near Hyesan City, Ryanggang Province, near the Amnok (Yalu) River. While it is more practical to process the alluvial ore, which involves washing off the sand, in the waters of the Amnok River (which is close to the mining field), the authorities have instead ordered the process to take place in the city. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Alluvial gold mining is an attractive means of earning foreign currency for state organizations, which have suffered significant losses due to international sanctions. But as the mining field is located near the border area, the Ryanggang Provincial government is reportedly taking careful steps to keep the operations secret. News [Photo] North Korean authorities move to conceal alluvial mining An alluvial mining field alongside the Amnok river in Hyesan City, Ryanggang Province. The blue circle indicates the alluvial mining pits, the yellow circle indicates the border guard soldiers, and the red circle as well as the left photo shows the panning process. The photo on the left was taken in 2013. Image: Daily NK SHARE News Kang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] “The residents have suggested washing off the sand using water from the Amnok River, located directly adjacent to the working field, but the authorities have strictly rejected the idea, citing the possibility that people ‘against us’ can take pictures of the mining process from across the Chinese border. They are saying that if the mining work is exposed to the outside, no one can be safe,” the source explained. “The residents working in the mine are reportedly complaining to the authorities, saying, ‘Why do we need to be watched by soldiers with guns like we’re prisoners?’ Some are mocking the authorities, saying, ‘They are so short-sighted not to see that the soldiers with guns (trying to cover up the gold mining process) can also be seen from across the border.” According to the sources, the North Korean authorities have ordered residents to collect alluvial gold in order to generate ruling funds for the Party. As an incentive, they are reportedly allowing them to keep the extra gold that they find, so as long as it exceeds their allotted quota. By Kang Mi Jin – 2017.06.22 5:32pm News “The border guards are on constant watch over the working fields in teams of three from above the dam. The authorities seem to think that residents working near the parched Yalu river are tempted to defect, because soldiers are also frequently deserting the army,” said a separate source in Ryanggang Province. In addition, surveillance over the residents has been strengthened in the region as water levels along the Amnok River have dropped. Lower water levels make it easier for defectors to cross the river.