Seoul - North Korea will spend about 2 billion dollars on the centenary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the equivalent to one third of its annual budget. This figure could buy of about 4.75 million tons of rice at the current price. Despite having a population constantly on the brink of famine, and having asked the world to send humanitarian aid, Pyongyang has no intention of saving to celebrate the birthday of the "Eternal President" of the country.
The data was released by the South Korean government, which controls the border with its uncomfortable neighbour. What is certain is that the communist regime has invited representatives of 48 nations to the festivities planned for the centenary, which falls on April 15. An official of a former Soviet state says: "North Korea has invited about 100 representatives of my country and offered travel and accommodation. This is the first time this has happened."
Moreover, according to the same source, "one hundred dancers and other artists were hired by the government in my opinion, at the end of all the fully paid for guests will not be less than 10 thousand." According to the regime's news agency, the people "will be given 100 donations from the Government" for the New Year, the new dictator Kim Jong-un gave children a skipping rope.
Every 5 or 10 years depending on the size and number, Pyongyang recalls the birth of the founder spending between 300 and 800 million dollars. The total expenditure this year will include, in addition to the invited guests, the construction and launch of the rocket with which the country hopes to join the club of the world's astronomers.
North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world. Reliable data is unavailable because the government censors it, but sources in the South say that about half of the 22 million inhabitants live below the poverty line, ie with less than 1 dollar a day. The majority of government revenues come from sales of anthracite and other natural resources to China, which last year spent 1.15 billion in purchases.