Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Inter-Korea barter trade pending green light




Inter-Korea barter trade pending green light

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
North Korea’s Taedonggang beer, named for a river that runs through Pyongyang. KCNA-Yonhap/THE KOREA HERALD

Inter-Korea barter trade pending green light

South Korea’s Ministry of Unification looks set to approve an inter-Korean barter trade of the South’s sugar for the North’s liquor and food products.

Before taking office late last month, then-unification minister nominee Lee In-young said small-scale barter exchanges could pave the way for a resumption of stalled inter-Korean exchanges, as they bypass UN sanctions banning cash transfers.

A South Korean farmers’ cooperative in June sealed a deal with five North Korean trading firms, which calls for Pyongyang swapping 250 products including liquor, its signature ginseng and other food supplements for 167 tonnes of sugar from Seoul.

The exchange would come in stages with liquor coming in first and food products like soy sauce and soybean paste arriving here later.

No cash transfer is expected in the deal and a Chinese company will help the delivery in the middle, making any direct exchange between the two Koreas unnecessary. The US earlier took issue with a South Korean truck carrying Tamiflu medication into the North.

Meanwhile, the ministry urged the North to jointly respond to the latest flood damage that dealt another blow to the regime still grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, with the spokesperson saying precipitation levels this month there were higher than the worst record in 2007.

Leader Kim Jong-un earlier mobilised the military to help with the recovery efforts in flood-ravaged regions including the North and South Hwanghae provinces, around Pyongyang, that produces the largest grain output for the country with a perennial food crisis.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) spokesman Anthony Balmain told Radio Free Asia on Monday: “Hundreds of homes have been damaged and large areas of rice fields have been submerged due to heavy rain and some flash flooding.”

North Korea’s Red Cross deployed 43,000 volunteers to provide food assistance and relief goods to those displaced residents and help contain the spread of the coronavirus, the IFRC said, adding that families affected by floods were also supported so they would not fall victim to post-traumatic stress disorder.

The North Korea’s Red Cross Society is the only organisation with access to all nine provinces there, with South Hwanghae and Kangwon provinces bordering the South being hit hardest by the downpours.

THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped