Samsung, LG Likely to Expand TV Business in North Korea

Korea Times
Kim Yoo-chul

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are considering expanding investment in the TV business in North Korea, according to company sources Friday.

Such expectations came after the government confirmed that Samsung Group Vice Chairman Yoon Jong-yong and LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo will join President Roh Moo-hyun’s entourage for the inter-Korean summit on Oct. 2-4.

Expectations have arisen among business groups that the second inter-Korean summit will produce substantial results in creating more business opportunities in North Korea, though big firms responded less enthusiastically than they did seven years ago.

“As our vice chairman will go to North Korea, we will start reviewing the North Korean business,’’ a Samsung spokesman told The Korea Times.

Asked about the possibility to expand production of cathode-ray TVs (CRT) in the North, the spokesman declined to elaborate.

But a source familiar with the situation raised the possibility of more production of CRTs.

Samsung began producing CRTs in the reclusive country on an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) basis since late 2000, the year then President Kim Dae-jung visited the North.

LG, which has produced between 15,000 and 20,000 CRTs in the communist state since 1996, is also considering expanding its TV business there in a long-term perspective.

“Nothing has been confirmed yet. But the issue is a possibility,’’ an LG spokesman said.

He said there will be more discussions after Chairman Koo returns from Pyongyang.


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