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North Koreans get a taste of Facebook in Pyongyang

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Koreans spoke freely about the April 27 inter-Korea summit in May, a nonprofit coordinator says. File Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA
North Koreans spoke freely about the April 27 inter-Korea summit in May, a nonprofit coordinator says. File Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA

May 30 (UPI) -- North Koreans are being trained in branding workshops, where they are learning what logos of major corporate brands like Facebook look like, according to the organization in Singapore leading the classes.

Choson Exchange, a nonprofit that has trained 2,000 North Koreans in entrepreneurship and start-up skills since 2007, told South Korean newspaper Maeil Business there is strong interest in entrepreneurship as people are viewing South Korea in a more positive light following the April 27 summit.

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The meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un was celebrated in official media.

According to Choson Exchange's Ian Bennett, a British national who led a three-day workshop in Pyongyang May 7-9, the North Koreans were introduced to foreign logos during class.

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The 130 North Koreans, all elites who donned the badges portraying past leaders, were told to create a brand logo for a new business, Bennett said.

The nonprofit coordinator said the North Koreans attending the workshop were Pyongyang residents who were running small enterprises.

The classes also taught North Koreans how to calculate the future costs of business, estimate the product prices and profits, according to the report.

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Bennett said the North Koreans spoke freely about the April 27 inter-Korea summit during his stay, and they were "excited" about Moon's plans to visit Pyongyang.

All the North Koreans Bennett met saw Moon in a positive light, according to the report.

The North Korean leader has made pledges to his people to improve the economy, one of the most impoverished in the world.

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NBC News reported Tuesday Kim was willing to open a Western hamburger franchise in Pyongyang as a gesture of goodwill to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump said in 2016 he would consider sitting down with Kim for a "burger" to discuss denuclearization.

Correction: An earlier version of this article did not mention the Choson Exchange event was a branding workshop, and stated the number of trainees is 20,000. It is 2,000.

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