North Korea Can Produce Instant Noodles Again

Pyongyang Wheat Flour Factory, the largest in North Korea, has set a goal for this year to produce instant noodles on a large scale, said Chosun Shinbo.

Chosun Shinbo, pro-Pyongyang newspaper published by Chongryon (the General Association of North Korean Residents in Japan) said in its internet edition, “Starting this year, domestically produced instant noodles will likely be supplied to people on a large scale.” The newspaper said that North Korea has successfully built a production line at Pyongyang Wheat Flour Factory, which will produce instant noodles using domestic grains.

Pyongyang Wheat Flour Factory is located in Samheong-dong of Mankyungdae District, in Pyongyang, and mainly produces wheat flour, cookie, noodle, and yeast. North Korea built its first noodle factory, Daedong River Instant Noodle Factory, with foreign capital in August 2000 along the Daedong River in Pyongyang.

Roh Won Chul, the factory cheif was quoted as saying that instant noodles were produced and widely sold till the 1990s in North Korea. However, since then, the country has not been able to produce instant noodles like it used to.

The chief also said that the country’s noodle production lines were suspended due to fuel shortages. He said that North Korea faced difficulty obtaining heavy oil needed to operate boilers at the factory because it could not import oil from foreign countries after economic sanctions were imposed. North Korea ended up importing instant noodles from China and other countries.

“Under the current economic sanctions imposed by hostile countries, we need to find our own solution to low production. I think we have to use domestic resources for production,” the chief said.

Chosun Shinbo said, “During the economic hardship of the late 1990s, North Korea had to rely on foreign assistance for flour production. However, the country is now using its own domestic sources.”

The newspaper said that North Korea’s Kim Chaek University of Technology devised a coal-burning boiler system in order to overcome fuel shortages. In addition, the country has lately completely renovated facilities of its noodle producing factories. “North Korea usually imports grains needed to produce wheat flour. However, it managed to obtain domestically produced grains for flour production,” the newspaper said.

The newspaper also quoted Chief Roh saying, “If we can procure domestic grains, we can not only get better economic gain but also expand flour production. Our people trust the quality of domestic products and prefer domestic products to foreign products.”

Chonsun Shinbo said, “On January 3 this year, Pyongyang Wheat Flour Factory conducted its first pilot productionusing the coal boilers. The test was successful. The instant noodles produced during the first trial were all sold out as soon as they were displayed for sale at stores in downtown Pyongyang.”

“In February, the factory will start full-fledged operations. Workers are now checking factory facilities once again, and they are highly committed to producing quality products, that are far better than foreign ones,” Chonsun Shinbo said.