Coca-Cola available but expensive in N. Korea: defectors

Coca-Cola has been available at private markets in North Korea for more than a decade even if the US soft drink maker has not opened business in the communist state, defectors from the North said Saturday.

A clip featuring Coke being served in what is said to be a pizza restaurant in Pyongyang recently attracted attention on video sharing site YouTube.

Customers were told what they were drinking was "Italian" Coke despite the unmistakable red and white brand, according to the video posted to YouTube last October.

Lee Suk-Yong, who defected to the South in 2006, said distributors in China began shipping Coke across the North Korean border in 2002 when the North dallied with partial capitalist-style market reform.

"You can buy Coke at every private market in large cities whenever you're ready to pay up, although it is highly expensive, compared to other countries," he told AFP.

Coca-Cola however first arrived in North Korea "in 1989 when the country hosted the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in Pyongyang", Kim Sung-Min, a renowned defector from the North, told AFP.

"Foreign cigarettes such as Marlboro and Dunhill were also available at such shops," he said.

The carbonated soft drink at that time appeared only at special shops in Pyongyang where foreign goods are available to those who have access to foreign exchanges -- ruling elites and foreigners.

It was simply too expensive for ordinary people to taste it, he said.

A Coca-Cola spokesman told The Telegraph that it "does not currently do business in North Korea".

"Any products sold in the market have been purchased by unauthorised third parties and imported into the country from other markets where they were sold", he said.

"No representative of The Coca-Cola Company has been in discussions or explored opening up business in North Korea. Coca-Cola could only consider entering the market in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations governing US relations with North Korea," he added.

"We cannot enter the market at this time".

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandiganbayan allows Sen. Jinggoy to have his aching shoulder checked

    The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has given permission to Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada to leave detention and have his aching shoulder checked at a private hospital yesterday. "After taking into account the arguments of both parties and for humanitarian considerations, the Court resolves to grant accused-movant's prayer over the objection of the prosecution," read the Fifth Division's resolution that was issued yesterday and signed by its Chairman Roland Jurado and Associate Justices Efren …

  • Financing lack cause of slow e-vehicle program implementation

    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) has blamed the lack of financing for the slow implementation of the environment friendly e-vehicle program in the country. EVAP President Rommel Juan said that EVs are now available all over the Philippines because of the various  private and some local government units programs on the use of e-vehicles. We need funders, financing people or angel investors to come in and tie up with credible and reliable EV players to finally catapult …

  • Exhibit recalls Christ’s passion and death

    Now ongoing at the Palo Municipal Hall grounds is an exhibit of photographs on the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The exhibit which will run until April 6, is dubbed “Pamalandong Photo Exhibit 2015.”  It features old pictures taken during the traditional yearly re-enactment of Christ’s passion and death in the Archdiocese of Palo,  which is the center of Catholic hierarchy in Leyte and Samar. Palo Mayor Remedios L. Petilla opened the photo exhibit with Philippine Councilor League Leyte …

  • The Philippines, another Singapore?

    Bongbong Marcos makes the ludicrous claim that if his father Ferdinand hadn’t been deposed in 1986, we would now be another Singapore, prosperous and orderly. There was no way that turning the Philippines into another Singapore would be possible today, or in the 1980s. The world’s eyes are all on Singapore these days after the passing last week of that city-state’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. As Singapore mourns Lee’s death, the world toasts him as a visionary who practically …

  • Armed men burn Philtranco buses in Tacloban

    Fully armed young men burned two Philtranco Bus Company buses in the Philtranco terminal in Barangay 91 Abucay midnight of March 31. Philippine National Police Eastern Visayas Regional Director Chief Supt. Asher A. Dolina has directed Tacloban City Police Director Senior Supt. Domingo Say Cabillan to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the burning of the two commercial passenger buses. Dolina said he wants the case probed to determine if the act is part of the usual …

  • Senate to look into Sajahatra program

    Lourdes “Nancy” Binay has asked the Senate to look into the government’s Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program (SBP) - a joint social protection agenda between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which was included in a comprehensive peace agreement entered into by the two parties. Binay noted that while the SBP’s goal was to uplift and develop the health, education, and livelihood conditions of Bangsamoro communities struggling against poverty and conflict, she has been …

  • Save up for Hajj thru Islamic bank’s plan

    To help pilgrims get to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AIIBP) has launched the first Pilgrimage Savings Plan (PSP) in the country. Local Muslims have long been studying Malaysia's widely-successful Tabung Haji savings program, and this was the first time a similar initiative was formally introduced in the Philippines. Idiosa B. Ursolino, AIIBP vice president, presented the PSP at a recent international conference on Islamic finance and banking …

  • 8th Commodores’ Cup Regatta set

    The Saturday Afternoon Gentlemen Sailing (SAGS) Club will stage the eighth Commodores’ Cup Regatta from April 7 to 9, the Philippine Sailing Association (PSA) announced the other day. The inshore races have the blessing of Asian Yachting Grand Prix and will be supported by The Lighthouse Marina Resort, Watercraft Ventures, Inc., Standard Insurance and the Department of Tourism. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options