QR codes common on N. Korean goods: Singapore NGO
Published : Feb 2, 2017 - 19:25
Updated : Feb 2, 2017 - 19:27

QR codes, a kind of matrix bar code, are becoming commonly used in Pyongyang as they have shown up in all kinds of ways in the last six months to mark exhibition items at a science complex, in inventory systems at supermarkets and on consumer products, a non-government organization said Thursday.

According to the website Choson Exchange, a Singaporean organization that teaches North Koreans all about the market economy, a story titled "QR Codes in Pyongyang" carried photos of a bottle of mineral water and a bottle of wine, both with a QR code attached.

The group also said a guide at the Sci-Tech-Complex in Pyongyang claimed the QR codes on some items contained additional information about the exhibited item, but this didn't seem to work.

This image, taken from the website of Choson Exchange on Feb. 2, 2017, shows a bottle of mineral water with a QR code attached. (Yonhap)

It forecast that QR codes will likely be a part of the convenience that they offer for ordering and information amid the proliferation of smartphones and the existence of more retailers joining competition.

Since 2007, Choson Exchange has supported entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals in North Korea through workshops, internships, mentorships and scholarships inside and outside of the North, the website said. 

Singapore has built diplomatic relations with both South and North Korea, and is one of the biggest trading partners for North Korea in Southeast Asia.