We’re impressed that North Korea is even bothering to pay back debts, with the economy in hyperinflation and Kim Jong-il talking about holy nuclear war. Of course, they’re going to pay the debt in ginseng.
Quoting a senior Czech Finance Ministry official, the paper said the North has recently suggested that it would pay 5 per cent, or US$500,000 of its debts in ginseng. The total debt amounts to $10 million.
Czech Deputy Finance Minister Tomas Zidek said his government is trying to persuade North Korea to pay it back in zinc, which would be immediately cashable in the international market.
Five per cent would translate into more than 400 tons of ginseng. But the Czechs imported a mere 1.4 tons from China and other countries last year and are apparently worried about the cost of having to re-export the root, which is prized for its healthful properties.
So who loaned NK money in the first place? Communist Czechoslovakia sent over electric cars and machinery back in the day.
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