Archive for the ‘Pyonghwa Motors’ Category

North Korea promoting extensively for the international product exhibition

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

North Korea currently under robust international sanctions has put on extensive advertising campaign for the recent International Product Exhibition [Spring International Trade Fair] held in Pyongyang.

A week has passed since the 16th Pyongyang International Spring Product Exhibition (May 13-16), but the Choson Sinbo, the bulletin of the Japan-based Chosen Soren, continues to run daily articles on the products displayed in the exhibition.

The products displayed at the Pyongyang International Spring Product Exhibition, which is North Korea’s largest trade exhibition, provided a peak at the country’s current industrial trends. Moreover, this year’s exhibition introduced a number of products which are used in the daily lives of North Koreans.

The (North) Korean United Trading Company exhibited over fifty categories of products including colored metal products and a variety of lubricants and ball bearings. Groups including the Sungri Economic Trade Alliance, the State of the Art Technology Development and Exchange Center, the (North) Korean Hard Glass Company, the Pyongjin Bicycle Joint Venture Company, etc. entered products which contribute to improving the lives of North Koreans. The Chosun Sinbo introduced various new products displayed at the exhibition, including shoes was introduced which treats athlete’s foot and dissipates odors with substances such as nano silver as well as complex lactic acid products and other pharmaceutical products made at the Pyongchon Koryo Pharmaceutical Factory.

North Korea also focused on advertisement for automobiles and electronics. Pyonghwa Motors introduced over 30 new models at the exhibition, with the increase in demand. It also boasted that the new models were equipped with lower fuel consumption, reduced by two-thirds.

North Korean media also praised computer products introduced by the (North) Korean Computer Center for its rise in popularity and international competitiveness. The Ryongak Computation Information and Technology Exchange Center introduced a new tablet PC which it dubbed the ‘Yongheung.’ It was reported that buyers welcomed the site for portable profile projectors which had TVs for viewing and allowed for comfortable exhibition of mass media materials.

To overcome the current international sanctions imposed on North Korea, the exhibition is likely to be intended to increase its economic cooperation with the outside world. On May 22, the Chosun Sinbo reported that despite the United States-led economic sanctions on North Korea, many foreign enterprises participated in the exhibition in the hopes of expanding trade with North Korea. It highlighted that the Rason Comet Trade Corporation which is located in China and North Korea’s joint Rason Special Economic District, participated this year for the first time in the Pyongyang International Spring Merchandise Exhibition. The article explained that the Rason Comet Trade Corporation is exporting clothing including t-shirts and athletic wear to Indonesia, Thailand, China, etc. Pyonghwa Motors which exhibited 36 varieties of cars, passenger vans, and buses at the outdoor exhibition center, benefited from meetings with several foreign companies as well as North Korean trade and economic agencies.

The 16th annual Pyongyang Spring Product Exhibition was held from the 13th to 16th of this month and companies from North Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Mongolia, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, Italia, Indonesia, China, Poland, and Taiwan participated at the event with various products including machineries, electronics, light industry, foods, medical, and chemicals.


Pyongyang awards “citizenship” to Korean-American

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

UPDATE 1: Hat tip to a reader in the commentsection…Mr. Park was given honorary citizenship to the city of Pyongyang, not to the DPRK. This is the DPRK equivalent of getting the “key to the city”.

ORIGINAL POST: Here is the certificate of authenticity (as reported by Yonhap):


This award was given to the head of Pyonghwa Motors (now for sale).

Here is more information from Yonhap:

The head of inter-Korean automaker Pyeonghwa Motors said Tuesday that he was made an honorary citizen of Pyongyang late last year to reflect his contribution to North Korea’s development.

In an interview with Yonhap News Agency, Park Sang-kwon said he received the citizenship at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in the North Korean capital on Dec. 18.

Park has led the carmaker that started off as a joint venture between South Korea’s Tongil Group, run by the Unification Church, and North Korea. Production began in 2002, with the company producing about 2,000 vehicles every year.

He said his citizenship has a serial number of 002 and has an inscription saying that the honor is being bestowed because of his contribution to the fatherland and the Korean people. He is the first foreign national to have received the honor under the communist country’s new leader Kim Jong-un.

Kim Chin-kyung, the Korean-American president of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology was the first to receive an honorary citizenship in Aug. 2011 by late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

“The reason why they gave me the citizenship reflects recognition for the trust I have shown them and may be a sign that they want me to more freely engage in business activities,” he said. Park claimed that the citizenship can be seen as a sign that the North will allow him to start a new business in the country.

He then said that the reason why Tongil decided to turn over management of the carmaker last November was so it could focus on a wholly-owned business operation in the country. Last year, the business group created by late Rev. Moon Sun-myung also agreed to hand over control of the Pothonggang Hotel in Pyongyang.

The executive said he had asked the North to approve such a step.

“Pyeonghwa Motors has been generating profit for the past five years,” Park said. The businessman said that in the future, he wants to engage in the distribution of household necessities in North Korea, and in particular to Pyongyang.

He said there is a need to show that a wholly-owned (outside-invested) company that is not tied to a joint venture project with a North Korean partner can succeed in the country, which can act as an incentive for other foreign companies to invest.

He pointed out that Chinese companies that invested in the North are generally those that have not done well at home. He said that successful South Korean, Japanese and U.S. companies need to engage in business activities in the North.

“If 200 competitive South Korean companies operate in the North, there would be no reason for inter-Korean tensions, and it can actually help push forward the unification process,” he said.

Park, meanwhile, said the North is looking into the option of developing a ski resort near the 768 meter high Masik pass near the city of Wonsan on the east coast.

He said that United Front Department of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea mentioned the development plan in December and claimed that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gave the order personally. Kim has been running the country since the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il in Dec. 2011.

“The North seems to want to develop a small ski resort first and build this up depending on demand,” he said.

The businessman added that Pyongyang wanted to transform Wonsan into a special tourist zone and is interested in using a military airfield near the city to accept civilian flights carrying tourists. Wonsan is famous for its beaches and if a ski resort is opened on Masik pass, it could attract tourists year round.

Park claimed Kim Jong-un has gained confidence in managing the country in the last year and may move to increase investments into the tourism sector.


The Unification Church in the DPRK

Monday, September 10th, 2012

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon was born between what is now Wonbong-ri and Osong-ri in Jongju City (정주시).


Pictured above (R) is a satellite image of the exact building the DPRK and the Unification Church claim was the birthplace of Rev. Moon. I first blogged about this  in 2009. The Google Earth coordinates are  39.683728°, 125.291145°, and you can see a ground level photo of the site here (taken by Unification Church delegation).

The Rev. Moon’s Church, the Unification Church, has made substantial investments in the DPRK.

The Unification Church built the Pothonggang Hotel and Pyongyang Peace Embassy (Google Earth:  39.020134°, 125.717641°) in Phyongchon-guyok, Pyongyang:

See photos of the Pothonggang Hotel and Peace Embassy on the Pyeonghwa Motors web page.

The Unification Church also launched Pyeonghwa Motors in the DPRK.

Pyeonghwa Motors was the first firm allowed to put up billboard advertisements in the DPRK. Here are links to images of most of the billboards: Link 1 (Images also say where they are located), Link 2Link 3Link 4Link 5.

Pyeonghwa Motors has several assets in the DPRK, the status of which remains a bit unknown:

There is of course the Pyeonghwa Motors Assembly Factory in Nampho, which I first identified on Google Earth years ago. It has seen some minor expansion between 2009 and 2011:


You can see a Pyeonghwa Motors advert here which features the factory:

Pyeonghwa Motors also built a gas/petrol station in Pyongyang:

The Google Earth coordinates are  38.996068°, 125.712410°, and you can see photos of the Pyeonghwa Motors Petrol Station here.

Pyeonghwa Motors also has a showroom on Kwangbok Street in Mangyongdae-guyok:

The Google Earth coordinates are  39.026709°, 125.682252°, and you can see photos of the Pyeonghwa showroom here.

The Pyeonghwa Motors web page also advertises an accessory shop in Pyongyang:


The Google Earth coordinates for this shop are  39.039590°, 125.743704°, and you can see photos of the Pyeonghwa Motors Accessories Shop here.

Although this facility is listed as operational on the Pyeonghwa Motors web page, recent tourist video shows that at some point before April 2012 this building has become a humble flower shop (꽃상점):

The shop’s entrance can be seen at the 2:00 mark.

However, according to this photo taken on June 6, 2012, the Peonghwa Motors logo still appears on the top of the building. So I am unsure of the actual status of this facility.

It is unclear if the accessory shop has moved or if it has permanently closed down.

Previous posts on Pyeonghwa Motors here.

If there are any Unification Church assets that I have not mentioned in this post, please let me know.

Read more on the history of the Unification Church in the DPRK here.


Fewer Japanese cars reported on DPRK roads

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

According to the Daily NK:

Japanese-made vehicles are disappearing from the streets of North Korea, six years after Kim Jong Il decreed that it should happen. Indeed, just two years ago it seemed that a majority of the vehicles on the streets were still those made by Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi, but this is no longer the case.

According to a Chongjin source who spoke with Daily NK yesterday, “In accordance with a 2010 National Defense Commission order saying that all Japanese cars had to be off the streets by last December, now you can hardly see any Japanese private cars or vans in the entire country.”

The NDC order reportedly pertained to private cars and vans of 1.5T or less, although the source said that trucks of Japanese origin are also meant to be phased out over the next couple of years as well.

The move is said to relate to a decree issued by Kim Jong Il in 2006 in which he demanded that all Japanese cars had to be gotten rid of. He apparently issued it after watching unhappily as a Japanese car overtook his own on the Pyongyang-Wonsan highway.

Another case is instructive in showing the degree of official dislike. In 2008, Namkang Trading Co. had already been importing second hand Japanese cars through Rasun for some time. However, a provincial Party secretary received a report on the removal of Japanese cars, and as a result more than 300 such cars were gathered in a local stadium and turned into scrap metal using fork cranes as cadres watched on.

But it was not really until four years after Kim’s original decree that implementation hit its stride, because it took some time to secure sufficient replacement vehicles. Pyongyang municipal, Party, state and security organs were the first to lose theirs in 2010, followed in 2011 by factories, enterprises and foreign currency earning units.

According to the source, “At the time, there were more than 100 perfectly good vehicles taken from North Hamkyung Provincial Party Committee alone.” The transportation head in the province apparently commented that “tens of thousands of perfectly sound vehicles have been gotten rid of nationwide.”

However, in October, 2010, Kim Jong Il delivered cars as gifts to key individuals and organizations. There were nationwide events held to celebrate receipt of the vehicles. Cadres at provincial Party departmental head and above received Chinese vehicles, while local Party secretaries and people’s committee chairmen received Russian ones. Factories and enterprises were subsequently ordered to purchase vehicles produced domestically in Nampo by ‘Pyeonghwa Motors’, a joint venture with the Seoul-based Unification Church, but this didn’t always happen.

The relative popularity of Japanese vehicles in North Korea stems in part from their build quality, which allows them to traverse the often sketchy North Korean roads, and in part from the fact that they used to represent a good trading opportunity in the 1980s and 90s. At that time, such vehicles could be imported from Japan and sold on to Chinese businesses at a profit margin of up to 400%. Domestic popularity was one of the inevitable side-effects of this trade.

Previous posts on this topic here (2007-7-11) and here (2007-7-27).

Read the full story here:
Japanese Cars Crashing Out
Daily NK
Choi Song Min


Pyonghwa Motors repatriates profit…wow.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

According to Yonhap:

A South Korean automaker operating in North Korea said Wednesday it has posted its first net profit and remitted part of it home, the first southbound money transfer by an inter-Korean venture.

Pyeonghwa Motors Corp. made a net profit of US$700,000 for the fiscal year ending in February and sent $500,000 to its headquarters in Seoul via a bank account in Hong Kong, its spokesman Roh Byoung-chun said.

The automaker began production in 2002 as a joint venture between North Korea and the Unification Church of South Korean Rev. Moon Sun-myung, who was born in the North. Its plant in Pyongyang produces sedans and small buses with some 340 employees, and its customers are mostly local businesses.

Roh said it took a while for North Korea to approve the remittance, which was made through a South Korean lender, Woori Bank, in Hong Kong in late May.

“For North Korea, $500,000 is a large sum of money. It is not used to the capitalist idea of making investments and retrieving profits. We believe they pondered deeply before giving approval,” he said.

Pyeonghwa sold 652 units last year, while North Korea took $200,000 for its 30 percent share in the venture, he said. The company says profits are picking up, with this year’s sales already surpassing 740.

North Korea’s own automaker, Sungri Motor, was established in 1958 and mostly produces cargo trucks.

Pyeonghwa’s production is not influenced by political tensions or South Korea’s ban on cross-border shipments, he said, as raw materials and parts are imported from Europe and China. The ban was enforced after North’s rocket launch in April, with the exception of goods going to a joint industrial complex in the North’s border town of Kaesong, where 109 South Korean small firms operate.

“The remittance is symbolic. They are having a hard time in Kaesong, and many went bankrupt in Mount Kumgang (the North Korean tourist resort),” Roh said. “We hope this can bring hope to people doing business in North Korea that anyone can go there and can bring back profits.”

Officials from the South Korean Unification Ministry said inbound money transfers from North Korea are not restricted, although outbound remittances are strictly monitored and prohibited in some cases. It is the first time a South Korean company has sent profits from sales in North Korea, they said. Other businesses investing in North Korea, including those operating in the Kaesong park, sell their goods in South Korea and elsewhere.

South Korea has put three North Korean firms, including a bank, on its blacklist under a U.N. resolution that bans financial transactions with North Korean entities suspected of aiding the country’s nuclear and missile development.

Read the full artilce below:
S. Korean automaker in Pyongyang sends first business profit home
Kim Hyun

According to the Wall Street Journal:

The Pyeonghwa spokesman didn’t disclose revenue figures but said last year’s vehicle sales were just over twice the 2007 level. The company has already sold more cars this year, 742, and expects to sell more than 1,500 for the full year, the spokesman said.

The performance is the culmination of an 18-year effort that began when church founder Rev. Moon Sun-myung met North Korea’s then-ruler Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang to propose several business ventures. In 1999, the church spent $55 million to build the auto factory in the port city of Nampo, on North Korea’s west coast. The Unification Church, based in South Korea, has a number of investments in tourism, construction and trade.

Since completing the factory in 2002, Pyeonghwa has imported partially built cars, in a form called knockdown kits, from manufacturers such as Italy’s Fiat SpA and China’s Brilliance Automotive Holdings Ltd.

Pyeonghwa completes the cars and puts its own nameplate and brand names on them. In 2003, its first full year of operation, the company sold 316 cars.

North Korea’s government is a partner in the company and took about 30% of the profit.

When it first started production, the company touted North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il’s role in naming several cars. One sport-utility vehicle, built from the design of Fiat’s Doblo model, was named by Mr. Kim as the Ppeokkugi, or Cuckoo.

Pyeonghwa, like other companies that do business in North Korea, faced enormous difficulty moving its money out of the country. Many Chinese businesses resort to buying commodities in North Korea with their profits, then exporting them to China to be sold for Chinese currency.

The motor company worked from February to May to move its money from North Korea, seeking permission from the North’s central bank, the spokesman said.

Read the full article below:
Pyeonghwa Sells in North Korea
Wall Street Journal
Sungha Park

Read other Pyonghwa stories here.

Here is the location of Pyonghwa’s factory near Nampo.


Pyonghwa Motors Update

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

The Asia Sentinel offers an update on Pyonghwa Motors’ production and sales numbers:

Does it make economic sense to build or invest in a car factory for a country with 23 million people but fewer than 30,000 vehicles, a city where cars are so scarce that in the warmer months, traffic ladies swinging their stop signs act in place of electric lights, where hardly anybody knows how to drive? And why is Sun Mymung Moon, owner of an international business empire and a virulent anti-communist, investing in North Korea?

Pyeonghwa Motors invested around US$55 million to build the factory on a one-time rice paddy near the port city of Nampo, about 50 kilometers southwest of Pyongyang. In 2003, the JoongAng Daily quoted an executive from the Seoul-based Pyeonghwa, saying he expected the factory, with capacity to build 20,000 cars a year, to eventually turn a profit. However, a spokesman based in Seoul says Pyeonghwa has produced only 2,000 cars and pickup trucks in their first five years of operation.

How many cars have they actually sold? For North Korea, any statistics, much less accurate ones, are “very difficult to come by,” said Erik van Ingen Schenau, an Asian car analyst and author of the book “Automobiles Made in North Korea.” He quotes a French newspaper article that claims the factory sold around 400 vehicles, including SUVs, pickups, and sedans, in 2006.  He estimates the factory sold anyone from 400 to 1000 cars in 2007 and 2008, including the cars they exported to Mekong Auto, a Vietnam-based Moon company, and including the vehicles that they produced with the Shenyang-based China Brilliance. 

The Pyeonghwa factory produces cars with names such as Whistle, Cuckoo, and Three Thousand Li, which refers to the national territory of Korea, both North and South peppering the empty streets of Pyongyang, “You see these cars a lot, especially the Cuckoo,” said Simon Cockerell, general manager of Koryo Tours, one of the few western tour companies licensed to operate in North Korea. 

“It took drivers some getting used to because they were used to driving Japanese cars, with steering wheels on the right,” Cockerell said. 

Like most items produced in North Korea, the Pyeonghwa vehicles are not known for their quality. “They are probably nearly all hand-assembled, and based on a model from a factory in China that does not have a good reputation,” van Ingen Schenau said. “They make cars that no one is interested and in that they cannot export to Japan or South Korea. Maybe it is a prestige item to have a car factory in the country, but it does not seem to have worked out at the moment.”

The Whistle, based on the Fiat Siena, is one of the Pyeonghwa vehicles featured on billboards. It sits on a field next to a superimposed image of the Pyongyang Arch of Triumph. Built to commemorate Kim Il Sung and the Korean nation’s resistance to the Japanese occupation, the arch stands 60 meters tall, more than 10 meters taller than its model, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. A boy stands next to the car one hand holding a trophy, while waving a hand, a smile on his face and a medal around his neck.  The billboard reads: “Whistle. A Strong and Beautiful Automobile.”

It is important to remember the target audience of the billboard. It is not only for the few thousand European tourists who visit the country for six days at a time, or the few hundred businessmen and embassy staff who live in one of the few foreigner hotels isolated from the city. The billboards also exist for the residents of Pyongyang, to show them that their country, despite the harm done to it by the entire capitalist world, is still able to go its own way and produce a strong and handsome car.

The full article can be found here:
North Korea in the Slow Lane
Asia Sentinel
Isaac Stone Fish  


Let the Investors Lead the Way in N.Korea

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Choson Ilbo
Song Hee-young

One of the facts confirmed in the second inter-Korean summit is that North Korea is willing to push ahead with an open economic policy. Though he is reportedly averse to the terms of reform and opening, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il agreed to add Haeju, Nampo, Anbyeon and Mt. Baekdu as open areas, along with Mt. Kumgang and the Kaesong Industrial Complex. He also permitted opening infrastructure like railroads and ports.

Slow as it is, the direction of the flow can be confirmed. It resembles China’s early opening stage from the late 1970s to early 1980s when Deng Xioaping first pushed his reform policies.

Considering the pace, outsiders were pessimistic about reform in China then, and they predicted failure for companies that invested there. By the 1990s, however, it was clear that tremendous changes had taken place.

Korean entrepreneurs doing business in Kaesong and Mt. Gumgang believe that the North won’t move backwards now. Projects in those areas continued unhindered even during the nuclear test crisis, they point out. Unlike in the past, minor problems are eventually resolved through dialogue, albeit slowly, they testify.

“Now the North Koreans know the taste of money,” one businessman said, and they have begun to feel the fever for making more. A primitive sort of capitalist consciousness is growing, he said, and North Koreans are beginning to realize that making profits through a steady business is better than hoping for a windfall from the millions in aid money the Kim Dae-jung administration donated to the regime.

Having suffered through the Korean War, armed commando raids, naval skirmishes off the western coast and the nuclear crises, many South Koreans might dismiss the changes. Businessmen who were forced to hand over computers and fax machines as “entrance fees” or “meeting charges” when they visited Pyongyang may insist that nothing will change unless the regime is replaced.

But Mao Zedong’s Red Guards were also never expected to change, but they emerged as major Wall Street investors in three decades. If they truly feel the taste of money, there is no reason why the generations that follow Kim Jong-il will not change.

Now that we’ve seen the signs of such change, however small, we have to transform our formula for investing in the North. The government, above all, has to abandon its stance of controlling, coordinating and managing cross-border investment. The time has come to trust our businessmen. There should be no special treatment simply because the counterpart is North Korea; instead the government should leave investment in the North up to the investors, as it does with Vietnam and Africa.

Our corporations have had plenty of experience in the North. Daewoo, Hyundai, the Peace Motors Corp. owned by the Unification Church, and not a small number of small- and medium-sized firms have invested across the border. Many have come back with bitter tales, but now they can distinguish promising projects from dubious ones. They have paid their tuition.

What’s more, South Korean entrepreneurs have accumulated experience in making money in other dictatorial socialist countries, such as China, Russia and Eastern European nations, accessing the top leaders and breaking through bureaucratic barriers. In dealing with communists, businessmen can be far more competitive than public servants.

Nevertheless, the government requires advance notification when any South Korean company wants to contact North Korea, and the Unification Ministry and National Intelligence Service often get involved with even the smallest details. As it is now, North Korea asks our government what it can request from our businesses and the president had to be accompanied by a group of conglomerate heads when he visited Pyongyang.

Businesses that are forced to deal with our close-minded public servants in addition to the North Korean regime are liable to abandon cross-border plans altogether, especially when profitability is questionable. This is why the larger businesses have in many cases been the most reluctant to invest in the North.

Now that the opening of North Korea at last seems certain, it’s time that we adopted the same formula that succeeded in China. It was our businessmen who rushed into China first, and they contributed toward reconciliation and establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. We went through the same procedures in Russia and Vietnam.

The idea that the government should be the one to build industrial parks and conduct business and wage negotiations in North Korea is outmoded. When it comes to investing across the border, the government’s job should be to guarantee business freedoms. Then the investors should be left to negotiate with the regime and work out how to make money.


Jokes, drinks and non-working cars on last day

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Joong Ang Daily
Kim Soe-jung

President Roh Moo-hyun’s two-night, three-day visit to North Korea concluded with a friendly luncheon with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il followed later by enthusiastic cheering on the streets.

After signing a declaration at 1 p.m. yesterday, Roh and Kim dined together for about two hours at Paekhwawon State Guest House, clinking glasses, sipping wine and having a friendly conversation.

“President Kim Dae-jung also sat on this seat,” Kim said to Roh, sitting next to him at a round table.

“There have been reports that I have diabetes or heart problems but that’s not true at all,” Kim said.

“There have been reports about even my slightest movements. I think they are novelists, not journalists,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience. “But it does not feel bad to be widely covered.”

Roh and Kim said goodbye to each other about 3:15 p.m. at the front door of the guest house. “This is it,” said Kim. “Take care,” the two leaders said to each other.

Roh left the guest house where he stayed during the visit after leaving a message in the guestbook reading, “Thank you for the warm welcome. I appreciate it.”

Before the luncheon, Roh and First Lady Kwon Yang-sook visited an auto plant in Nampo city, about a 50-minute drive from Pyongyang. The plant produces about 1,000 vehicles per year, with 216 employees.

Roh and Kwon got in a sedan called “Junma,” manufactured with auto parts from South Korea’s Ssangyong Motors, and started the car. But the car did not move. Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo helped the president, but the car still did not move.

After the 20-minute visit to the plant, Roh went to a memorial tower to commemorate Seohaegapmun, a seawall built in 1986.

He wrote, “North Korean people are great,” at the guestbook there.

After the luncheon, Roh attended a ceremony to plant a pine tree he had brought from the South at a botanical garden in Pyongyang.

Kim Yong-nam, the nominal head of the communist country, and Roh scattered soil from Mount Halla in the South and Mount Paektu in the North around the root of the tree. They watered it with water from lakes in both mountains.

Roh left Pyongyang amidst cheering from the city residents carrying pink azalea bouquets.

On his way home, Roh visited the Kaesong Industrial Complex for the first time as the country’s president.

He arrived back in Seoul after 9 p.m. last night.


Pyonghwa Motors Producing Trucks in the DPRK

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

Institute for Far East Studies (IFES)

Pyongwha Motors, the South Korean company producing automobiles in North Korea will expand into truck manufacturing from this year. According to an official from the company, the manufacturer, currently producing six models, plans to begin truck production within the year, and is working together with Hwacheon Motors and other enterprises in the Chinese city of Shenyang.

Pyongwha Motors currently manufactures three models in the ‘Bukkuki’ (Cuckoo) SUV series, a pickup truck, the mid-size sedan ‘Wuiparam II’ (Whistle II), and the minibus ‘Samchunri’ (Throughout Korea). As of yet, the company has not decided what type of truck it will produce. The company’s truck production is a result of demand in North Korea. Farms, organizations, factories and other consumers have been asking Pyongwha Motors to “produce a truck that will allow a little bit more to be loaded” onboard, and the company has been listening.

An official from the company stated, “if truck production gets underway, last year’s production of 600 to 700 vehicles will be surpassed and more than 1000 vehicles [will be produced] this year,” and went on to explain that the next step is to decide on an exact model through cooperation between North Korean and Chinese counterparts.

Pyongwha Motors, operated through an equity joint venture between South Korea’s Pyongwha Motors Group and North Korea’s Chosun People’s Leisure Group, first produced an automobile based on a model of an Italian Fiat, and in its second stage of operations, produced SUVs and pickup trucks. Today, the company is in its third stage of operations, producing minibuses, trucks, and mid-size sedans.


Pyeonghwa Motors, China’s Brilliance in talks to produce trucks in North Korea

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007


Pyeonghwa Motors Corp., a South Korean automaker with exclusive rights to produce cars for the North Korean market, said Wednesday it has been in talks with Chinese automaker Brilliance Automotive Holdings Ltd. to assemble trucks in North Korea, a company official said Wednesday.

In North Korea, Pyeonghwa Motors is assembling some 600-700 vehicles, including sport-utility ones, sedans and mini buses, a year at its plant in Nampo, near the capital Pyongyang.

The North has requested Pyeonghwa Motors to produce trucks for farmers and factory workers, the official said.

“We will soon select a truck model after consultations with North Korean and Chinese sides,” the official said on the condition of anonymity, citing protocol.

If the North Korean plant begins production of trucks, annual vehicle sales of Pyonghwa Motors in North Korea will exceed 1,000 units, the official said.

The North’s economy went into a steep decline in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to reports released by South Korea’s Bank of Korea.

However, since the late 1990s, the North Korean economy has been growing again, helped by an influx of foreign aid and better weather, the South’s central bank said.