DPRK selling goods to Chinese trade fair

From the Daily NK:
NK, A Pitiable Medicine Peddler at aTrade Exhibition
Kim Young Jin

The Second China Jilin Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo commenced on September 2nd in Changchun, Jilin province where North Korea dispatched 100 people from economic and trade groups to set up 36 booths promoting and consulting trade and goods.

North Korea elected Kim Dong Myeong director of Chosun International Exhibition Co. to coordinate the North Korean booths at the trade event, and director in second department of Ministry of Foreign Trade Jeon Hyeong Jeong, vice secretary of Chosun Chamber of Commerce Yoon Young Suk, Chosun Manyeon Health Co. Lee Yong as department representatives. About 100 people were allocated to various booths in addition to 30 Chinese university students who acted as translating helpers.

‘Wooden spatulas’ and ‘Dried ferns?’

The exhibition was divided into categories such as food, cars, electronic goods, petrochemicals, metal goods, construction materials and medical machinery of which North Korea exceeded technicalities and opened 32 booths related to ‘food.’

In the division of construction materials, the Chosun Chongjin Metal Corporation Company had not organized their booth even after people began to enter the exhibition hall much to the embarrassment of sponsors. Clients passed by confused as in the next booth, ‘Inpung Trade Company’ from the Trade Department in Jagang province had set up a display of wooden spatulas, chopsticks and dried ferns totally unrelated to construction.

North Korean booths categorized as ‘foods,’ health and medical products were the focus of retail sale. Each booth stationed 1~2 consultants wearing a dress shirt and pants, 1~2 sales assistants wearing the traditional Korean costume and a Chinese translator sponsored by the event.

Rather than directly advising clients on product queries, the male consultants seem to sit clustered at the back of the booth supervising the female sales assistants and translating helper. As the translating helpers were all Chinese university students and partly inexperienced in English or Korean, it was obvious that they were having difficulty trying to explain product information to foreign clients.

Abundant medical products, chili paste and sesame oil unverified

Excluding Chosun Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies of D.P.R.K. (MOP), Chosun Minye Corporation and Chosun Suyangsa Trade Company which sold North Korean paintings, porcelain and handicrafts, the majority of booths sold ‘food’ or ‘medical’ products.

A spokesperson for ‘Tosung Korea Medicine Export Department of Pyongyang Trading Public Corporation’ drew the attention of clients by stating “The ‘Tosung 1 injection’ developed by our company is the leading panacea of this generation. This injection is known to have outstanding effect on various illnesses such as cancer, leukemia, diabetes and tuberculosis.”

In reply to a reporter’s question “If 1,000 injections are ordered, how many days it will take for delivery?” the assistant answered “It is difficult for me to give you a definite answer. However, if equipment is offered for a large-scale order, delivery should be made possible within 3 months.”

Of the North Korean sales assistant met by the reporter, the majority of workers knew only of the cost of products on display and when questioned of large-scale orders, delivery, North Korea’s proof of inspection, ‘clinical effectiveness’ and ‘medical approval’ assistants could not give any definite answers.

However a common scene amongst North Korean booths were appeals to clients “Although economic conditions nor equipment do not yet support mass production, not only has a new medical product has been successfully created but we ensure that the world’s best ingredients, effectiveness and skills are used.”

North Korean assistants asserted by showing ‘An innovative wonder drug’ developed by ‘Chosun Dongbang Drugs Center’ as an impotent drug ‘neo-viagra-Y.R,’ the bird flu antidote ‘Kumdang-2 injection’ by ‘Chosun Pugang Pharmaceutics Company’ and longevity foods ‘Angungwoohwangan’ developed by Korea Myongsung Health Food Pharmaceutical Factory.

According to a speech by a sponsor, various Northeast Asian countries such as South Korea, China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea and 46 other countries participated in The Second China-Jilin Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo. Of 500 corporations in the world, 71 corporations participated in the event and promoted products in 2,200 booths.


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