Lifestyle & Belief

Ridiculously pricey cafe opens in Pyongyang, North Korea


Are rich North Koreans using shady shell companies to funnel their wealth overseas?



It's not Starbucks, but it's certainly more expensive.

In Stalinist North Korea, a new coffee shop has opened seemingly to prove just how strange and unjust things have become.

The luxuriously-priced Starbucks-like cafe offers espresso for over four dollars, while a shaved ice coffee with red bean is about $10.

The high prices are probably due to the difficulty of finding such products amid numerous embargoes.

More from GlobalPost: Welcome to posh Pyongyang

The cafe is likely targeting Pyongyang's ultra-elite who have climbed to the top of the country's notorious songbun caste system that ranks citizens based on political, economic and even ancestral factors.

The caste system determines everything from the education someone will receive to the jobs they can hold — and now, to the coffee they can drink.

At the top of this system is the Dear Leader: Kim Jong Un who, like his father before him, has expensive taste despite United Nations' sanction barring luxury goods.

Kim recently purchased a $7-million yacht (there are international sanctions on yachts being sold to North Korea too), a departure from his father's adoration of train travel.

Whether Kim likes his Italian espresso with or without sugar remains to be seen.

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