North Korea failed in a recent attempt to import beef from New Zealand to be used as special gifts to cadres on Kim Jong-un’s birthday, after the plan ran afoul of the New Zealand government, which froze the funds for the deal, Daily NK, an Internet-based newspaper based in Seoul said.
Citing a source inside North Korea, it said on Friday that: “$170,000 remitted by ‘Myohyang Bureau’ to a New Zealand bank in October to import parts for Japanese tourist buses and beef has been frozen by the New Zealand authorities.”
The source added, “The New Zealand authorities are investigating whether or not the money is related to (North Korea’s) drug dealing.”
According to the source, the beef is meant to be used as special gifts to cadres on Kim Jong-un’s birthday, which falls on Jan. 8.
Some other presents for cadres are being prepared for the junior Kim, who was recently anointed as the heir to Kim Jong-il. The report said the Myohyang Bureau is tasked with supplying beef.
The Myohyang Bureau is directly in charge of tour events including Arirang performance-related tours and Mt. Baekdu and Geumgang tours. It sends the profits from these businesses involving foreign tourists to the No. 39 Department of the Central Committee of the Party, it said.
“Since the Myohyang Bureau sent the money via a secret bank account held with a bank in Latvia to a bank in New Zealand, it incurred the suspicion of the New Zealand government,” it cited the source as saying.