The Asian government decided to lift the prohibition on horse racing betting to try to ease international sanctions.
North Korea.- North Korea’s government lifted its ban on horse betting racing as it is believed that it’s part of a move to ease heavy international sanctions. Local media reported that a number of horse races took place on Sunday under the sponsorship of the Korean Equestrian Association.
Ahead of the races, the Korean Central Television broadcaster said that race goers aged 12 or older were allowed to bet on jackets in a raffle-type system. The races took place on Sunday at the Mirim Horse Riding Club, one of the facilities developed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Na Jeong-won, head of the North Korea Industry-Economy Research Institute in Seoul, said: “Kim has been pushing for vanity projects for a theme park, sky resort and the horse riding club for the sake of propping up the people’s well-being but their real purpose was to earn foreign currency.”
The country’s access to foreign currency has been disturbed by a series of international sanctions over weapons policies. Whilst North Korea had already been operating casinos for foreigners in Pyongyang and Rason, in a joint agreement to run a special economic zone with China, the latest round of sanctions by the United Nations in March established that North Korea was banned from any further joint ventures with local companies.
“There seems to be growing demand for such leisure activities among North Koreans as the gap between the rich and the poor has been widening,” said Na.