Sunday, February 5, 2012

North Korea Fights Restaurant War With South

A North Korean government-owned restaurant has opened in the capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam, in what seems to be another attempt to threaten South Korea - which opened a government-run restaurant of its own in New York just over a year ago. The move is also being seen as the communist monarchy's latest attempt to earn hard currency and foster closer ties with European communist sympathizers, who last year caused the EU to side with North Korea in the inter-Korean conflict.

57 year-old and 52 year-old government officials in Seoul said that the North Korean restaurant was not likely to threaten South Korea's plan to globalize Korean cuisine and earn hard currency to bail out the Korean savings bank industry before it collapsed.

But according to 58 year-old Professor Kim from Seoul International University, Seoul should be very concerned by the North Korean move, explaining that the North Korean restaurant is a lower cost operation as the food used within it is supplied for free by the international community as well as the South Korean government and civic groups.

By comparison, while the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – which runs the New York mega-restaurant – brings pressure to bear on Korean companies to provide various foods on highly favorable terms, it still does pay for them, a principle which also applies to minimum-wage restaurant employees.

58 year-old Professor Kim believes that in the longer term it will prove impossible for South Korea's government-run overseas restaurants to compete with those from the North. "The cost-base is significantly lower, leaving South Korean restaurants having to compete on quality rather than price – but this will also prove impossible." The professor went on to explain that based on his research, he has concluded that the southern-run restaurants can not match the quality of North Korean ones because South Korean kitchen staff are much more likely to own mobile phones than their northern counterparts. In North Korea, the punishment for using a mobile phone is death, whereas in South Korea, the punishment for not using a mobile phone is death, or at least serious social exclusion.

Pyongyang has said any attempt to cut off its supply of free restaurant food from the international community would be seen as an "extreme provocation by the southern traitors and a declaration of war". Plans to open South Korean restaurants have also now been put on hold while ministers in Seoul decide how to react to the North's threat to turn any additional "puppet-government fronted traitor-feeding food-related establishments" into a "sea of fire".

Related Links
NK restaurant opens in Netherlands
Government Seeks to Put Overseas Koreans Out of Business
Too many Korean restaurants in NY
Distribution of private aid monitored in N.Korea
Aid after Kim Jong-il’s death
North Korea Requests More Wailers Before Resuming Six-Party Talks
North Korea threatens to punish mobile-phone users as 'war criminals'
Banking Pyramid Scheme Comes Crashing Down
EU Sides With North Korea in Ongoing Korean Conflict
Party of European Socialists

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