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N Korea opens 1st fast-food restaurant: Report

Last Updated: Friday, July 31, 2009 - 09:10

Seoul: You still can`t get a hamburger in Pyongyang, but the suspiciously similar "minced beef and bread" is for sale at the North Korean capital`s first fast-food restaurant, a latest news report has said.
The Samtaesong restaurant opened in the isolated communist country last month in cooperation with a Singaporean company, according to the Tokyo-based Choson Sinbo.

The Singaporean company, which the newspaper did not name, provided training to restaurant staff and supplied equipment.

The restaurant`s interior appears to be styled after fast-food joints the world over, but the menu is careful not to call its signature fare a hamburger lest it give the impression North Koreans had embraced the American icon.

North Korea`s authoritarian government is concerned that outside influences could undermine the regime and pose a threat to leader Kim Jong II`s tight grip on the nation of 24 million. It balks at using foreign words and coins alternatives in Korean instead.

But this is not the government`s first foray into foreign food. In March, the Choson Sinbo, widely considered a mouthpiece for the North Korean government, reported that Kim, a noted gourmand, had ordered the opening of the country`s first Italian restaurant.

The chefs there were trained in Italy and food made with imported ingredients was served

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, July 31, 2009 - 09:10
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