N. Korea opens new restaurant in Bangkok
BANGKOK, Sept. 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has recently opened a new Korean restaurant in Bangkok, apparently in an effort to secure foreign currency amid tightening international sanctions following the country's fifth nuclear test earlier in the month.
The Pyongyang Arirang Restaurant, serving Korean-style shabu shabu and barbecue, opened in a three-story building in a quiet residential area of the On Nut district.
A banner and signboard in front of the restaurant showed a Korean menu, with an English sign saying the restaurant was open for business.
The name of the restaurant was previously used for a separate North Korean diner located in the bustling Sukhumvit Road area in central Bangkok.
That diner has been closed since March, but new signboards showed it was recently renamed Pyongyang Haemaji Restaurant, signaling a possible reopening.
Including the two diners, North Korea currently operates a total of three restaurants in the Thai capital.
"Those who had run Pyongyang Arirang Restaurant seem to have opened a new one while preparing to reopen the former under a different name," a local source said.
"The addition of one more restaurant appears to be a move aimed at meeting the North Koreans regime's push to earn more (foreign currency)," the source also said.
The United Nations is currently working toward adopting a fresh round of sanctions on North Korea in response to the country's latest nuclear test carried out on Sept. 9.
When contacted by a Yonhap News Agency reporter, a staff member at one of the North Korean restaurant made clear that it does not serve South Koreans.