In the world’s last totalitarian state corruption is everywhere. North Korea requires uncompensated labor from most of its population, according to Human Rights Watch. It sends workers abroad to China and Russia where a part of their salaries are forfeited by intermediary officials and the state. While the rural population is facing food shortages, dictator Kim Jong Un had an amusement park built in the capital Pyongyang. His father Kim Jong Il famously spent $800,000 a year on fine liquors.
Yet, North Korean corruption may have one beneficial: Smuggling allows for some outside influence, making it more difficult to uphold ideological discipline among its 25 million people. South Korean television dramas and Chinese cell phones are smuggled into the reclusive country. Even military officers and soldiers have been caught watching South Korean and American television dramas, including Desperate Housewives.