Married Man on 14Feb2010
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fort Worth, Texas (North Side)
North Korea is so backwards
North Korea, which has boasted ballistic missiles and nuclear arms, has begun producing the country's first home-built bicycles, China's Xinhua news agency said in a dispatch from Pyongyang.
The factory, a joint venture with China, opened in Pyongyang on Oct. 7 with a number of senior officials from the two countries attending. They included Paek Hyun-Bong, chairman of the North's Committee for the Promotion of External Economic Cooperation, and Wu Donghe, Chinese ambassador to Pyongyang.
Energy-starved North Korea needs some 7 million bicycles, officials said. "The bicycle was the most important thing, because the buses and trams stopped running due to energy shortages," said one North Korean who recently defected to the South. "But bicycles are a luxury, so most people walk," he said.
The plant will produce up to 300,000 "moran [peony] peak" units a year, reducing its reliance on second-hand imports from neighbors Japan and China, the report said. The joint-venture company has more than 50 models including one that it said would become the new workhorse for the North's postal service.