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S. Korean Enterprises Embarrassed by U.S. Gov’t's Request for Information on North Korea Businesses
Warning against North Korea Projects
S. Korean Enterprises Embarrassed by U.S. Gov’t's Request for Information on North Korea Businesses
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • November 2, 2018, 09:26
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Tycoons of Korean chaebol including Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong (right) take "naengmyeon" (cold noodles) in Pyeongyang, North Korea on Sept. 19 when they accompanied South Korean President Moon Jae-in on a trip to the North.

The U.S. government has reportedly requested certain South Korean business groups to report their business plans related to North Korea. The heads of these business groups visited North Korea in September this year for the third inter-Korean summit.


According to industry sources, the Embassy of the United States in Seoul recently told them that it would have a conference call in the near future on their North Korea businesses. Specifically, the business groups are Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK, LG, POSCO and Hyundai.
 

In fact, these business groups, with the exception of Hyundai, have initiated no new North Korea-related businesses since the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang. “Although we visited the North at the request of the South Korean government, there is nothing we can do about North Korea due to the international sanctions on it,” one of them said, adding, “This is why we are feeling uncomfortable with the U.S. government’s request.”

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul has reportedly canceled its plan to host a conferene call with the heads of the business groups after it was reported by local media outlets.
 

In the meantime, the United States Department of the Treasury recently had a teleconference with seven South Korean banks, requesting them to comply with sanctions on the North. Rumor has it that the U.S. government will adopt a secondary boycott against the banks although the department denied such a possibility.