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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Baltika Beer Conquers North Korea

Baltika Breweries began exports to North Korea as it seeks to expand on international markets, the brewer said Tuesday in a statement.

The first 72,000 bottles of Baltika No. 5 Gold were delivered to Korean Trade on Friday, the brewer said. Cooperation talks began in 2001, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Il visited Baltika's brewery in St. Petersburg and sent engineers to the plant to study brewing methods the following year. Reaching an accord on beer exports took more than three years afterward, Baltika said.

"The beginning of the company's product supplies to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's market is one of the most unusual projects," Dmitry Kistev, head of Baltika's export sales, said in the statement. "The foam drink brewed in the city that's the cradle of socialist revolution -- and that's how Baltika will be positioned in North Korea -- will be available for foreign tourists as well."

Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle. Export sales including licensed production increased to 1.8 million hectoliters last year, according to Tuesday's statement. The company's total beer sales amounted to 36.6 million hectoliters in 2006, spokesman Alexei Kedrin said.