North Korea cancels beer festival

The hermit country in the Korean Peninsula has cancelled its Taedonggang Beer Festival, which was scheduled to start this week, likely due to the country’s ongoing drought.

Photo source:Young Pioneers Tours

Two travel agencies specialising in North Korean tours said they had received news of the cancellation on Sunday with no specific reasons given, but the Beijing-based travel operator Koryo Tours cited a possible link with this year’s drought as the prime cause, as reported by CNN Money.

The drought is believed to be the worst the country has experienced in 16 years, threatening its crop harvest and food shortage, according to the UN.

“It won’t look great for Pyongyang middle class to be having a jolly good time while people are working on drought relief,” Simon Cockerell, general manager of Koryo Tours, told the news network.

The beer festival launched by the state-owned Taedonggang Beer Company last year reportedly attracted 45,000 visitors including a few foreigners during its 20-day celebration.

The brewery itself is the result of the North Korean government’s quest to brew quality beer and was originally from the UK. In 2000, North Korea purchased a defunct British brewery, Ushers of Trowbridge in Wiltshire, and shipped it back to the country piece by piece to create the Taedonggang Beer Company.

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