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North Korea bans secondhand Japanese cars: aid group

North Korea bans secondhand Japanese cars: aid group

North Korea has imposed a ban on secondhand Japanese cars, in a move highlighting the frayed relations between the two neighbors, a South Korean aid group said Wednesday.
Those who violate the order, which took effect last month, are subject to fines and their cars will be scrapped without exception, the Seoul-based Good Friends aid agency said in its newsletter.
It said the move is related to anti-Japanese sentiment in North Korea as well as air pollution caused by exhaust fumes. The group gave no source for its information, but its reports on North Korea have been reliable.
No specific figures are available on the number of Japanese cars in North Korea, but the aid agency said public institutions and the military use secondhand Japanese vehicles. Private car ownership is virtually nonexistent in North Korea, with even bicycles an unaffordable luxury for most of the country's impoverished citizens.
Earlier this year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il ordered officials to seize all Japanese-made cars in the country, South Korea's Yonhap news agency has reported.
North Korea has been at odds with Japan over the North's past abductions of Japanese citizens as well as Japan's treatment of Korean residents who are affiliated with the communist regime.
Japan ruled the Korean peninsula as a colony in 1910-45, before it was divided into the South and North. Many Koreans still harbor deep resentment against Japan over the occupation.


Updated : 2021-06-25 14:52 GMT+08:00