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Last Updated: Friday, 2 November 2007, 12:09 GMT
Fried chicken first for N Korea
Man eating fried chicken
Mr Choi hopes to open an outlet in China next
A South Korean businessman is to open a fried chicken restaurant in North Korea, believed to be the first foreign-run restaurant in the country.

Choi Won-ho said the 50-table outlet in Pyongyang would also run a chicken and beer home delivery service.

North Korea has chronic food shortages and relies on international food aid to feed its population.

However, an increasingly wealthy elite in Pyongyang has created a market for luxury products.

The North has been tentatively building up its international links since it signed a deal to end its controversial nuclear programme.

Global ambition

Mr Choi, who already runs 70 chicken restaurants in South Korea, says he wants to build the world's best chicken brand.

It makes no sense to conquer the world without sharing food with our compatriots
Choi Won-ho
Chicken pioneer
And he said he did not think his venture in the impoverished North would be too much of a business risk.

Profits from the restaurant will be split with a North Korean state trading firm.

If the venture is a success, Mr Choi hopes to take on the likes of KFC in China.

"But I thought it makes no sense to conquer the world without sharing food with our compatriots," he said.

"That's why I went there first," he said.

South Korean officials say the restaurant, near Pyongyang's landmark Arch of Triumph, will be the first foreign-owned outlet in the country.

"It's been tough but I'm sure it'll do well," said Mr Choi.



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