KATHMANDU: The government of Nepal has once again directed North Korean investors in Nepal to shut down their businesses and take back investments
In September, Nepal had given a two-month ultimatum to North Koreans to take back their investments shuttering their businesses. With the deadline approaching near, the Department of Industry, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ordered them to close or sell their business firms by the end of October and leave Nepal.
Director at the Department Prem Prasad Luitel said that North Koreans have been told to pull their investments from Nepal due to sanctions imposed by the United Nations.
“We have rewritten a formal diktat through the Foreign Ministry,” he said, “As per the direction, they have to close or sell their business firms by the end of October and leave Nepal,” he said.
According to Luitel, North Korea is currently operating nine businesses in Nepal.
Khabarhub had carried out a series of stories on how North Koreans were misusing Nepal’s soil to make money. The North Koreans were operating restaurants, hospitals, and software companies in Nepal before Khabarhub exposed their illegal activities.
Khabarhub had on September 4 carried a story about the North Korean Embassy in Kathmandu lobbying to extend visa status of around 14 North Koreans staying and working illegally in Nepal even after the expiration of their visa dates.
The Embassy was making efforts to extend the visa of its nationals working at the Botonggang Restaurant and Bar P. Ltd (on the top floor of Rising Mall in Kathmandu) whose visas had expired on June 6, 2019.
The Nepal government was reluctant to extend the visa of these workers after the United Nations (UN) in August wrote a letter to the former to strictly execute the sanctions imposed on North Korea.
Nepal has now, however, shown its willingness to shut-down North Korean businesses coming under pressure after the issue of sanctions against North Korea has been raised repeatedly at the UN. Nepal had earlier shown reluctance to rein in North Korean activities in the country.
It should be noted that the UN repeatedly reminded Nepal to rein in North Korean activities in the Nepali soil, which has increased in recent times. In a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), this year, the UN had urged the Nepali government to stop all North Korean businesses in Nepal.
North Korea has already shut down three of its business following pressure from the UN and the US.
Restaurants registered in the name of North Koreans
According to the record at the Department of Industry, the Himalaya SoJe Restaurant has been registered in the names of Ju Ok Hwang and Il Hyang Kang on September 5, 2018. Even though the registration record points out the location of this restaurant in Lazimpat, Kathmandu but the actual operation of the business is taking place in Sanepa.
The record kept with the government reveals that this restaurant would have a capacity to accommodate 100 customers at a time and would employ 23 staff (workers).
List of Registration
Hotel and restaurant registered in the name of Tong Min Ri registered on July 9, 2007. Location: Goldhunga of Kathmandu. Capacity: 16 beds, 32 seats.
Restaurant registered in the name of Young Ju Kim on July 22, 2007, with 200 seating capacity.
Botonggang Restaurant and Bar Pvt Ltd registered in the names of Hwang Un Ha, Sin Yong Im and Ri Chang Nam with a capacity of 150 seats on June 22, 2018.
Himalaya SoJe Restaurant Pvt Ltd registered in the names of Ju Ok Hwang and Il Hyang Kang on September 5, 2018, having a capacity of 100 seats.