It is a little known fact in the West that Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church actually controls North Korea’s tiny automobile industry. This church own’s Pyeonghwa Motors and has an exclusive control to produce and sell both new and used cars in the staunchly Stalinist Communist tightly controlled economy country. But, like most things in North Korea, this automobile industry doesn’t run really very well. While the company has the production capability to produce 10,000 cars a year, more on the order of 400 or less cars a year are produced, with many actually exported to Vietnam. For a country of 24 million persons, North Korea probably has only around 30,000 automobiles.
And the Moonie-owned automobile company actually does very little for the economy of North Korea. In 2009 for example, the company only produced $700,000 in income for the total sale of 650 automobiles, new and used, of which the South Korean Moonie church received all but $200,000 of these revenues.
Unlike South Korea, North Korea knows very little about the successful management of businesses, where South Korean investors struggle with the government regulations, poverty and low consumer demand to attempt to create opportunity in the North, but with little real success.
North Korea is an economic basket case. There is no question about that.