Loyal to Capitalism
Even before the business opened, Jang was ordered by authorities to remove portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il — the grandfather and father of current leader Kim Jong Un — from the building’s exterior.
“I have no intention of dignifying or praising North Korea,” said Jang, whose business cards use the South’s English spelling for the North’s capital, Pyeongyang. “I’m just a man loyal to capitalism.”
He used to run a Japanese restaurant, but with Seoul and Tokyo locked in a bitter diplomatic row, his takings plunged by 50 percent and he opened a new business.
“A lot of people come here — some who sympathize with North Korea and some who hate North Korea — but the majority of people, 80 to 90 percent, just come here for fun,” he said.
The menu offers typical North Korean dishes such as Pyongyang cold noodles and drinks labeled with imaginary Northern brands. A mock gift shop is stocked with genuine Northern trinkets and snacks.