Australia Markets open in 9 hrs 44 mins

Easier to drink in North Korea than Sydney

Trevor Treharne

While Sydney’s draconian lock-out laws are crushing scores of local businesses, it also means it’s now easier to find a late night alcoholic drink in the totalitarian state of North Korea.

The Communist government in North Korea even subsidies alcohol “in order to keep people happy”.

The NSW Government introduced laws in 2014 that close Sydney’s music clubs to new guests at 1.30am and ban selling alcoholic drinks after 3am.

It is also not possible to buy a bottle of wine after 10pm or get a shot of alcohol after midnight.  

Also read: N Korea woos anti-money laundering body

The 2am lockout in Victoria was cancelled after independent auditor KPMG found it had not helped to address street level violence.

While the Queensland 3am lockout and 5am closures were shown by the Queensland Auditor-General to be a $10 million failure.

The laws in Sydney have resulted in the closure of several nightspots in and around the CBD, mainly in Kings Cross and Surry Hills, where foot traffic has been dramtically reduced.

All this has resulted in higher levels of personal responsibility being entrusted to North Koreans than Sydneysiders since the introduction of the lock-out laws.

A piece by The Atlantic, ‘Getting Drunk in North Korea’, found that while the Communist state is hardly a beacon of dazzling nightlife, places such as The Egyptian Palace are open from 7.30pm to late into the night and alcohol is served throughout.

Patrons are also able to drink out of glass (not allowed in Sydney), order wine after 10pm and consume other alcohols as they wish.

Pyongyang in North Korea also has The Diplomatic Club by the Juche Tower, a “newly refurbished complex full of bars, karaoke rooms, and restaurants.”

It is open well after Sydneysiders have been ushered home for their own safety.

Also read: Top 10 Aussie cities to watch in 2016

Such freedom can’t be attributed to a culture of lower drinking either.

“North Korean people tend to drink more and [drink] stronger liquor,” said Leonid A. Petrov, a North Korea expert at Australia National University in The Atlantic article.

“Governments in Communist countries often resort to subsidising alcohol in order to keep people happy,” Petrov explains.

A petition, ‘Keep Sydney Open – fight Sydney’s lockout legislation!’, already had over 34,000 signatures at the time of writing.