North Korea to launch bicycle-sharing service amid fuel shortage

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   June 19, 2017 at 3:06 PM
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June 19 (UPI) -- North Korea's capital could soon launch a bicycle sharing service, as the price of gasoline remains a top concern in the country, according to state-owned Chinese news service on Monday.

China's People's Daily Online reported from Pyongyang North Korean authorities have finished installing a large number of bicycle racks across the city, including along Kwangbok Street, a central thoroughfare dotted with high-rise apartment buildings.

A North Korean city development official told the Chinese news service the bicycles are "meant to provide convenience for citizens' transportation."

The measures are being taken weeks after gasoline prices showed signs of more than tripling in May, then doubled in price in June, according to The Japan News, an online service of the Yomiuri Shimbun.

For operation, the shared bicycles require the input of a password consisting of 10 numbers and four letters.

Information on how the program would be paid for and managed will be available once the bicycle service is launched across about 50 locations around town, according to People's Daily.

Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in Pyongyang, but sometimes they are reported stolen during times of economic difficulty, the report states.

In early June, the price of gasoline continued to rise, although China had not announced oil sanctions to punish North Korea for its nuclear weapons development.

The United Nations Security Council recently passed a fresh round of sanctions that imposes travel bans and assets freezes on senior North Korean officials, in connection to the country's nuclear weapons program.

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