Just in time for the weekend: DPRK soju arrives in New Jersey

UPDATE: According to the Choson Ilbo:

Exports to the U.S. of the North Korean liquor Pyongyang Soju have been halted due to a lack of interest from consumers, Radio Free Asia reported Tuesday. Tang Kap-jeung of importer Tang’s Liquor Wholesales in Flushing, New York, told RFA, “There was some interest at first because people were curious, but the poor taste led to dwindling orders and we stopped imports a year ago.”

Customers in the U.S. enjoy South Korean soju, which is smoother and odorless, and nine out of 10 people said the North Korean variety was not to their taste, he added.

He said the price tag of the North Korean liquor at US$3.75 a bottle due to special tariffs was another factor behind the poor sales. 

Sales of Pyongyang Soju began in 2008 primarily in New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Maryland and California, RFA said. Export versions of the soju are also sold in China and Japan. 

ORIGINAL POST: According to Yonhap, North Korean Soju has finally (again?) landed in New Jersey (h/t One Free Korea):

The first shipment of North Korean-made liquor to the United States has arrived in New York and will go on sale as soon as it clears customs, the importer said Wednesday.

Tang Gap-jeung, head of Tang’s Liquor Wholesale, which is in charge of U.S. distribution, told Yonhap that 1,660 boxes of Pyongyang Soju arrived Tuesday. Each box has 24 bottles of liquor made from corn, rice and glutinous rice flour. (Yonhap)

This is not the first time that someone has tried to import North Korean soju into the US (part 1 of the story here).  Unfortunately, that effort came to an end when the entrepreneur who launched the venture was arrested for being an unregistered South Korean spy (again, h/t One Free Korea).  The fate of the soju went unreported.

Mr. Tang is probably not importing the “adder soju” (with a dead snake in the bottle), which is absolutely vile, but worth the money just to keep in the liquor cabinet for show.  Adder soju aside, North Korea can make some tasty liquor, so if you want to try something new this weekend, here is where you can pick some up (call first and make sure the shipment has cleared customs):

Tang’s Liquor Wholesale of NJ
530 Church St
Ridgefield, NJ 07657
(201) 313-8800

The full story can be read here:
N.K. liquor import arrives in New York


One Response to “Just in time for the weekend: DPRK soju arrives in New Jersey”

  1. A. Coward says:

    Aside from the liquor, does anyone know what happened to Steve Park? Googling his name or his lawyer’s (Deirdre von Dornum) reveals nothing of use, or that dates after December 2007. I assume he’s just been quietly kicked out of the U.S., back to South Korea.