As many as 100 Chinese businessmen have reportedly holed up in hotels in downtown Pyongyang, North Korea, waiting to recover money invested in the country.
Some of these businessmen may have even been deported, the Chosun Ilbo reports citing the Chongqing Daily.
This is just the most recent case of long running risky-business in the Hermit Kingdom. A Chinese beer business in the country went belly up just last week, and just last year mineral producer Xiyang Group reportedly lost 240 million yuan ($3.8 million) in a North Korean iron mine.
“The biggest mistake Xiyang Group made was to ignore the dangers of investing in North Korea,” Jiao Qiming, head of a Chinese trading company in Dandong, told the Chosun Ilbo, “Once a dispute occurs, it is impossible to beat the North Korean government.”
Dandong — one of the main trading hubs on the Chinese, North Korean border — has seen a drop in business as North Korean credit bottoms out. The city was recently closed to Chinese tourists seeking to see Pyongyang due to nuclear threats from North Korea.
The money problems for North Korea stretch back decades, but most recently their woes stem from a new round of sanctions the U.S. managed passed in the U.N. This set targeted the pockets of the business elite, which may explain why Chinese businessmen with ties to Korean elites are finding themselves in trouble.
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