Before the regime change in 1989, Hungary gave loans to the communist totalitarian North Korea, and the owed debt has grown into quite a big amount by now. Still, the Hungarian Government has not given up on collecting the debt.
As Világgazdaság reports, Hungary gave loans to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the owed amount has only grown ever since. According to the information of their site, the debt is 30 million clearing roubles which is around 6 billion HUF or around € 16.7 million in transferable roubles.
Hungary has not given up on recovering the outstanding debt. There was no consensual agreement made about the debt settlement for several years until, in 2008, Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea finally made an offer.
DPRK asked Hungary for the cancellation of over 90% of the total debt amount and they proposed to pay back the remaining sum, roughly half a billion HUF, in natural resources such as ginseng roots.
Origo says that the Hungarian Government obviously refused the offer. Following that event, there was no progress in the case for several years. In 2014, a Hungarian delegation travelled to Pyongyang accompanying the former Ambassador of Seoul who had to hand over his credentials to North Korea as he had been accredited in the communist country as well since December 2009. But again, no agreement was reached.
Világgazdaság reached out to the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inquire further information on North Korea’s debt, but the Ministry could not give good news.
The Hungarian State Treasury estimates 29.63 million clearing rouble debt owed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Due to international sanctions, economic and political communication is limited.
The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also told the news portal that a total of nine people from the DPRK have registered for consular protection in Hungary since 2015. On a different note, North Korea is categorised as “a country not recommended for travel” by the Hungarian Consular Service, the site added.
Origo cites the data of the Hungarian Statistical Office which shows that, apart from three instances, there was no foreign trade flow between Hungary and North Korea over the past decade.
Source: vilaggazdasag.hu, origo.hu