North Korea

N.Korean Hotel in China Forced to Close

By Lee Kil-seong | January 10, 2018 11:01

The notorious Chilbosan Hotel in Shenyang, the only hotel North Korea operates in China, was closed on Tuesday in accordance with a UN Security Council deadline.

The hotel, which is believed to have been a haven for North Korean spies, said only last week it was still taking bookings and did not expect to shut.

But on the hotel's front door on Tuesday was a notice that read, "We've closed down according to an administrative order from the Shenyang city government. All business operations of the hotel have stopped."

The hotel sign was also removed.

Staff of the Chilbosan Hotel remove the sign in Shenyang, China on Tuesday. /Yonhap; A notice (right) on the front door of the hotel announces its closure in this picture provided by a reader.

North Koreans own a 70-percent stake in the hotel and Chinese the rest. The Chinese co-owners, a trading arm of Liaoning Hongxiang Group, were blacklisted by the UN Security Council last year for helping North Korea's missile development and nuclear weapons programs.

When it opened in 2000, the hotel was capitalized at US$5 million. Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development chairwoman Ma Xiaohong was the vice president.

North Korean hackers are thought to have had an office in the hotel where they launched massive attacks on South Korean businesses.

The hotel apparently failed to find Chinese investors interested in buying out the North Korean stake. Nine North Korean restaurants in downtown Shenyang also closed down on Tuesday under the UN deadline.

The Haedanghwa restaurant in Beijing, which is wholly North Korean-owned, also shut and posted a message on its front door saying "closed for the day."
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