The Straits Times
Published on Sep 01, 2012

Coca-Cola available but expensive in N. Korea


SEOUL (AFP) - Coca-Cola has been available at private markets in North Korea for more than a decade even if the United States (US) soft drink maker has not opened business in the communist state, defectors from the North said on Saturday.

A clip featuring Coke being served in what is said to be a pizza restaurant in Pyongyang recently attracted attention on video sharing site YouTube.

Customers were told what they were drinking was "Italian" Coke despite the unmistakable red and white brand, according to the video posted to YouTube last October.

Mr Lee Suk Yong, who defected to the South in 2006, said distributors in China began shipping Coke across the North Korean border in 2002 when the North dallied with partial capitalist-style market reform.