Choco Pies are very popular in North Korea, to the degree that there is a sort of Choco Pie black market. A factory shared by North and South Korea used the pies to pay employees. The employees would then sell the pies for a premium, and use them to purchase other things.
Beyond their street value, the Choco Pie also represented a world outside of North Korea. Author and history professor Andrei Lankov explained in his book, The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia that the Choco Pie "symbolizes South Korea's prosperity, sophistication and progress. Like canned beer in the Soviet Union of my youth, [the Choco Pie] shows that the surrounding world is rich and full of wonders?gastronomical and otherwise."