Taedonggang Beer to go on sale in US this year?

UPDATE 2 (2015-9-9): The Justice Department has suspended Steve Park, importer of North Korean beer. According to UPI:

Steve Park, also known as Park Il-woo, is a veteran businessman and president of Korea Pyongyang Trading U.S.A. Radio Free Asia reported in 2011 Park received permission from the U.S. government to import North Korea’s Taedonggang Beer, but Park’s failure to file tax returns starting in 2008 was one of the reasons his agent status was recently terminated.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act, which was passed in 1938, requires agents like Park to disclose information about their relationship with a foreign government.

Park, who was registered under FARA in December 2011, has been involved in other North Korea promotion projects in the United States. Park has been connected to tourism projects in North Korea’s Mount Kumgang region and investment proposals in the reclusive country.

Park was found in violation of FARA for not regularly reporting his income. Under the law, all foreign agents must report revenue and expenditures to the Treasury every six months, according to RFA.

In 2012, Park’s Korea Pyongyang Trading U.S.A. was shut down in New York State after receiving an order of dissolution.

UPDATE 1 (2011-4-22): Apparently extended/new sanctions announced by the Obama administration this week will not affect the import of Taedonggang Beer by Mr. Park.  According to KBS:

Following the latest sanction passed by the Obama administration, the United States importation of the North Korean beer brand Taedonggang was in doubt.

But a U.S. State Department official said that individuals or companies who gained import permits for North Korean goods before the order passed can continue with importation.

The official added that the new directive does not affect any North Korean imports that have been approved by the United States government.

U.S.-based firm Korea Pyongyang Trading U.S. has been given the green light to import 400-thousand bottles of Taedonggang beer this June.

ORIGINAL POST (2011-3-6): According to the Korea Times:

The VOA also confirmed that the U.S. government last year authorized the import of a North Korean beer, called “Daedonggang”.

“I received the final authorization on Sept. 30,” said Steve Park, a U.S-based importer. The first 2,000-2,500 cases of beer will be on sale this summer.

Steve Park first gained notoriety trying to import North Korean soju to the US. He was also prosecuted for being an unregistered foreign agent. You can read about these stories here.

But I wish him all the best in this endeavor.  Taedonggang beer tastes pretty good. It is a British lager after all.

Read the original story here:
N. Korean delegation to visit NY
Korea Times
Kim Se-jeong
3/4/2011

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  • Socialjeebus

    The beer’s not bad, they used to sell it in The Underground bar in Shinchon. It was cheap too, 2,000 won for a 500ml bottle!

  • x3n0s

    I want to make sure I can get a few cases of this beer. How does one contact this company? It doesn’t look like they have a web site.

    • socialjeebus

      Can you read Korean? If so they sell it here: http://www.koreadpr.co.kr/shopping/shopping-detail.php?pi=315

      Shipping will probably be expensive though. They don’t actually sell it online but you may be able to get them to ship it to you anyway. Certain Homeplus (British firm Tesco) also sell it.


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