Rich N.Korean Women Lead Craze for S.Korean Goods

South Korean goods remain popular among well-to-do North Koreans, especially women, Open Radio for North Korea station reported on March 25.

The defector-run radio station said one North Korean official bought South Korean goods including a robot vacuum cleaner, air conditioner, heater, underwear, and cosmetic goods worth US$3,000 in December last year. He was quoted as saying his wife asked him to buy them and was very happy with them, so her circle of friends asked him to buy the same things for them.

North Korean women wear North Korean women wear "tattoo" stockings in this photo released on March 5 by Radio Free Asia, which claims it was taken by a foreigner in front of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace and submitted by U.S. economist Curtis Melvin. /Yonhap

South Korean goods are apparently no longer confiscated in customs. The official said customs officers do not mind as long as the goods are for personal use and not for sale. Control by Chinese customs is stricter than in North Korea.

It said South Korean robot vacuum cleaners are thought to be cheaper than Japanese ones, and the batteries last longer. South Korean underwear and cosmetic goods suit North Koreans better than those imported from other countries.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 03, 2010 07:45 KST