Unification Church to transfer automaking unit to N. Korea

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Unification Church to transfer automaking unit to N. Korea

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10월 초 5·24 대북조치 이후 한국기자로는 처음으로 평양에 다녀온 이원영 LA 중앙일보 기자가 찍은 평양 외곽의 ‘휘파람’ 광고 사진. 평화자동차는 2003년 북한 기업체로서는 처음으로 상업광고판을 설치했다.

The Unification Church in South Korea will transfer control of its ailing automaking business in Pyongyang to North Korea, and may tap into the country's special economic zone, according to a media report on Friday.

Pyeonghwa Motors' President Park Sang-kwon said the joint auto venture between the religious group and the North will be taken over by the North, according to the report by Voice of America.

"We transfer the right to them to practically run (the firm)," Park was quoted as saying in the report. He may take up an advisory role to the auto venture following the transfer, according to the report.

The Unification Church, founded by late leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon, is also running a hotel in Pyongyang as well as some other projects in the North. Pyeonghwa Motors started operations in 2002, producing about 2,000 vehicles every year.

The religious group is considering tapping into the distribution sector in the North and also interested in starting a business in a special economic zone in Hwanggumphyong located in the western tip of the country, Park said in the report.

He said Jang Song-thaek, vice chairman of the National Defense Commission and the powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, had once proposed a business opportunity in the economic zone, being jointly promoted by the North and the country's closest ally China. He also expressed the group's willingness to invest in the area.

The housing sector as well as garment and food segments are also among those in which the group is considering investment, he was also quoted as saying. (Yonhap)

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