April 14, 2023 09:39
North Korea uses South Korean production facilities in the Kaesong Industrial Complex to manufacture rice cookers that are sold in department stores, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday.
The ill-fated industrial park closed in 2016, and South Korean manufacturers were forced to leave stock and machinery behind, and North Korea has previously been accused of using them to make clothes and dentures.
Cuckoo Electronics left behind around 10,000 rice cookers and parts and materials to make 420,000 more. RFA said the factory workers who make them now are North Koreans who previously worked for Cuckoo. The rice cookers are then sold in department stores for US$50 to $80 and are said to be popular among the elite.
The illegal appropriation was discovered from satellite photos and North Korean state media reports.
A South Korean government official said, "North Korea seems to be using around 10 percent of South Korean facilities in the industrial complex, mostly garment factories."
Recent satellite photos show blue buses parked in front of a factory that used to be owned by a South Korean electronics company, while a commuter bus from the industrial complex was spotted in downtown Pyongyang.
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