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Date : December 23, 2013
Crack down on Korean-labeled Imports
   http://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/imports-12032013174348.html [1195]
North Korean customs agents have increased restrictions on imports labeled in Korean due to the suspicion that the items have been manufactured in South Korea. North Korean authorities have long tried to limit South Korean goods with the goal of keeping out unwanted foreign influences; however, recent restrictions have hit trade particularly badly. A Korean Chinese trader confirmed the difficulty of the situation stating that since he started his business, a South Korean specialty goods store in Dandong, China, he has never experienced a slowdown such as this. The import crackdown has left retailers scrambling to rebrand goods. Items such as apples and beer must be repackaged with Korean labels exchanged for Chinese versions. Strangely, North Korean customs agents have been allowing Cuckoo brand electric rice cookers -- which they know come from South Korea – through the border because the product is labeled in English. Traders expect restrictions on Korean-labeled products to be gradually lifted, but in the meantime Chinese traders and North Korean consumers suggest that the situation dire.

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