February 17, 2016 12:43
The government is urging South Koreans traveling or living abroad to avoid North Korean restaurants.
"We cautioned citizens residing abroad about the present political situation and advised them not to frequent North Korean restaurants," a Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.
The official added that the same recommendation was made to South Korean travel agents abroad.
North Korean restaurants worldwide are often run by the secretive state and must remit most of their earnings home to the regime. The recommendation to avoid them is part of wider sanctions against the North following its nuclear test and rocket launch.
The government worries that the hard currency the restaurants earn could be used to fuel the North's nuclear weapons and missile development programs.
According to intelligence sources, North Korea operates around 130 restaurants abroad, around 100 of them in China. They generate some US$100 million a year in revenues.
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