"I managed a small restaurant in a northern city of North Korea. We served karē raisu and other dishes from Japan. It was a hugely popular place to eat for North Koreans, and I became quite famous for my curry."
Immigrants from Japan struggled to survive the often-harsh conditions of North Korea. Access to imported karē raisu and other imported food products became a matter of life and death. They used karē raisu as a currency, trading it for local products — kimchi, rice and meat — and strategically gifting it to cadre of the Korean Workers' Party. The more industrious, daring individuals opened black market curry and noodle stalls operating out of their apartments.