Joint NK-Russia pharmaceutical company revamps operations

According to the Daily NK:

Python, a joint company between North Korea and Russia, which had manufactured health supplements during Kim Jong Il’s era, has recently renewed its contract and is set to manufacture products using materials produced in North Korea, Daily NK has learned.

“Python closed down due to financial difficulties but has recently renewed its contract with North Korea,” a source in Russia told Daily NK. “On the 7th, the North Korean consul general and the deputy prime minister of Zabaykalsky Krai signed related contracts to operate the Python factory.”

An additional source in Russia confirmed this development.

The factory, located in Russia, is currently shuttered due to financial restraints, but the North Korean state authorities have been providing cadres dispatched to the facility for management with living expenses. The source said the factory is expected to give the Russian city Chita a boost in its local economy, helping to propel the deal.

“Before production ground to a halt, Python had been sending hefty sums of money to North Korea. Russia can also rake in profits from the company, so neither wants to give up on the endeavor,” the source speculated. “Once production begins, North Korea will select and dispatch workers to Russia who will produce medicine and health supplements.”

He added, “We can’t tell exactly how much was being made from the production, but former workers say under normal operations, the sum going to the North was significant,” the source said, noting that North Korea is surely hoping the deal can try to make in a dent in the dearth of state foreign-currency funds.

“In the past, Python mainly produced health supplements, such as ‘baljam’ (herbal wine) and ginseng extract,” he explained. “But after Russia was introduced to capitalism, financial, ideological, etc. difficulties emerged and operations took a toll. Over the past few years, only a few North Korean managers have been left behind.”

He added that the North Korean laborers who worked at Python were guaranteed housing and food in addition to receiving a monthly salary of 50 to 60 USD, and given that the organization is a pharmaceutical company, most of the Party cadres dispatched there are college graduates; some researchers were sent with their families as well.

Meanwhile, earlier on the 14th, Radio Free Asia [RFA], citing Russian internet publication ‘Business Buryatia,’ also reported that “North Korea and Russia are planning to co-produce medical products in Chita, a city in Eastern Siberia as early as before the end of this year.”

Read the full story here:
Joint NK-Russia pharmaceutical company revamps operations
Daily NK
Kang Mi Jin
2015-07-21

Share

Comments are closed.


An affiliate of 38 North