South Korean E-Commerce Platform Sells North Korean Artwork, Pottery and More

Photo: koreadpr.co.kr

This article has been updated with responses from the company and the South Korean government.

A Seoul-based e-commerce platform openly sells North Korean goods, including art, antiques, liquor and more, and payments are routed to two large South Korean banks, Kharon found.

The company, Hwaibeo, offers a wide variety of items said to originate from North Korea, according to the product listings on its website, koreadpr.co.kr. Banners on the website direct shoppers to send funds to accounts held by Hwaibeo’s President Yang Jun Mo at two leading South Korean banks.

Among the items for sale on koreadpr.co.kr are more than 100 pieces of North Korean artwork, folk dolls, various agricultural products, antiques and handicrafts made from yew tree wood. Many of the non-artwork items are sold out, according to a review of product listings. Liquor marketed on the site can’t be sold on the internet, the website says, instructing customers to contact the company directly. 

Log in to access the latest Kharon Briefs on global security threats and sanctions networks. Don’t have an account? Register now for free.