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North Korea footwear expo drew tens of thousands, report says

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea footwear expo drew tens of thousands, report says
North Korea held a footwear expo in the capital, Pyongyang, in October, according to the Choson Sinbo. File Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA-EFE

Nov. 21 (UPI) -- North Korea held a footwear expo in the capital, attracting as many as 20,000 visitors in a day, according to a pro-Pyongyang paper in Japan.

The Choson Sinbo reported Thursday the Kim Jong Un regime held the expo Oct. 18-24 at a department store adjacent to Pyongyang station.

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The paper, operated by North Korea's de facto embassy in Japan, stated more than 50 entities were represented at the fair.

"The expo was met with an endless wave of citizens gathered for the event," the Choson Sinbo stated.

North Korea has previous held footwear expos, including in October 2018 and in March of this year.

A manager with North Korea's light industry department, identified as So Il Dong, said the expo was only open to professional shoe manufacturers; previous fairs included "anyone" willing to participate, So said.

In October, 50 footwear firms were in attendance, exhibiting 1,300 kinds of shoes and shoe-related products, according to the Choson Sinbo.

The expo's themes were "diversification, localization of raw materials and recycling of old materials," the report said.

Recycling is a new theme for the expo, a North Korean source told the paper.

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North Korea has highlighted economic development under Kim Jong Un.

Korean Workers' Party paper Rodong Sinmun reported Thursday the Electronic Business Research Institute of North Pyongan Province was recognized for its work on smartphone projects and for its webpage on North Korea's Internet.

The institute developed a comprehensive management system for city-level information and communication bureaus, according to the Rodong.

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