The Unification Church foundation in Korea is likely to wind up its joint auto-making venture with North Korea and instead try to tap into the distribution sector there, a source said Wednesday.
The source said, "As far as I know, Pyeonghwa Motors is seeking to sell its factory in Nampo for about US$20 million in order to end its auto business."
Pyeonghwa Motors, a joint auto-making venture in North Korea between the North and the church founded by the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, started operations in 2002, producing about 2,000 vehicles every year.
However, increasing cooperation between the North and China in the auto sector is believed to have weighed down the North's venture with the South Korean entity.
"The (South Korean) president of the auto firm appears to be eyeing the distribution sector" in North Korea, an official at the foundation said, adding the president may move to a new industry after liquidating the auto business. "But nothing has been determined so far," the official said.
Pyeonghwa Motors president Park Sang-Kwon is widely expected to hold discussions with the North over the business shift during a North Korean visit scheduled for mid-December, to mark the first anniversary of the death of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, who died on Dec. 17. (Yonhap)