How much cash could you drop on fireworks if given carte blanche? A hundred, a thousand or maybe even more but you’d have to hide the receipt from your spouse! Well sit down for this, North Korea recently 19 billion won on massive fireworks in celebration for the Kim Il-Sung centenary. If you’re thinking 19 billion won isn’t as much as it sounds, sources say the expenses in U.S. dollars totaled just $16.7 million dollars. Just.
This year’s celebration cost more than three times as much as the 2010 ritual, yet was described as ‘less ostentatious’ as in year’s past. The pyrotechnic display lasted for one full hour and was set off on the shores of the Taedong River in Pyongyang with its new leader Kim Jong-un present. Included in the pyro booty was two hundred tons of firecrackers were imported from China. Choreographed aerial shells brightly lit the sky near in Juche Tower in Pyongyang while nationalistic songs played in the background.
The firework expenses are just the tip of the iceberg for all the centenary events which are predicted to reach $1.16 billion or more including hotel renovations, downtown improvements, gigantic statues of leaders and other items catering to pomp and circumstance. Critics say that North Korea should be spending less lavishly when there are other important issues at hand that affect the well-being of citizenry, one notable problem being a chronic food shortage in the country.  We say keep some of the fireworks to boost morale, scrap the rest of the expenses and redirect the money to buy corn and other commodities that would help the people.