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» North Korea offers ginseng to Czechs
 Posted: Aug 17 2010, 04:45 PM
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic (UPI) -- North Korea has offered to pay part of its $10 million debt to the Czech Republic with ginseng, but Czech officials said they'd rather have zinc ore.

Pyongyang made the offer after Czech officials refused a request from a delegation last month to forgive 95 percent of the debt and instead offered to accept a barter agreement instead of the $10 million it is owed from the machinery, trams and equipment it gave North Korea during the Cold War, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

North Korea offered $500,000 worth of ginseng, about 400 tons, to the Czech Republic, but Czech Finance Ministry officials said the amount of the root, which is used in tea, medicine, food and hand cream, would last for about 200 years.

The Finance Ministry said it offered instead to accept zinc ore, but there has not yet been a response from Pyongyang.

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 Posted: Aug 18 2010, 07:50 PM
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