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Pyongyang sells leftover rice cookers in Gaesong Complex to China

Pyongyang sells leftover rice cookers in Gaesong Complex to China

Posted February. 06, 2017 07:00,   

Updated February. 06, 2017 07:07


Radio Free Asia (RFA) has recently announced that North Korea is selling electric rice cookers that South Korean companies left behind in February last year when Gaesong Industrial Complex was closed. It has been noted that conflict of the two Koreas has only given the merit to China as some of the skilled workers in the complex who had acquired the technology from South Korean companies are working for Chinese companies located near the border between North Korea and China. Chinese companies have been hogging all the projects for North Korea since May 24, 2010 when South-North economic cooperation stopped.

“North Korea is selling electric pressure cooker with popular South Korean brands produced in the complex to China,” the RFA cited North Korean sources who said that around the middle of December 2016, Pyongyang began selling hundreds of left-over South Korean products to China.

“Four strangers from North Korea came early December in 2016 and asked if we are interested in buying electric high pressure cookers manufactured in the complex with cheaper prices,” said another sources who run the business of selling South Korea products in border areas between North Korea and China.

“The origin of products manufactured in the Gaesong Industrial Complex is labeled as “Made in Korea," which would have been labeled as “Made in China” if they had been produced in factories in Qingdao, Shandong province, China," sources said. "That’s why those products from the complex are much more popular to North Koreans.”

The RFA said, “Some in South Korea contend that factory facilities and products in the complex have been left untouched,” citing a North Korean defector surnamed Lee who said, “This is just wishful thinking because they are not well aware of the North Korean authorities.”

Sources in Dandong, Liaoning province said that South Koreans and their companies are making complaints that the Chinese are taking advantage of all the cooperation routes that have been developed by Koreans since May 24, 2010 when they could neither commission toll processing to North Korea nor trade any products. It is known that the number of Koreans in Dandong has been reduced to less than one third of the previous level.

Ja-Ryong Koo bonhong@donga.com · Hee-Chang Park ramblas@donga.com