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Singapore investigating suspected illegal export of Pokka products to North Korea: MFA

SINGAPORE — The Government is investigating the alleged export of Pokka products to North Korea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday (Aug 1).

Pokka and Pepsi drinks at the Sentosa Business Centre in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Pokka and Pepsi drinks at the Sentosa Business Centre in Pyongyang, North Korea.

SINGAPORE — The Government is investigating the alleged export of Pokka products to North Korea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday (Aug 1). 
 
The ministry was responding to a query from TODAY on the matter, which was first reported by NK News, a website which follows developments in North Korea.
 
NK News reported that beverage company Pokka Singapore, known for its flavoured tea drinks, was still seeking to export its products to Pyongyang last year despite a trade ban. 
 
Since 2006, the United Nations has been tightening sanctions on North Korea in response to its nuclear programme. Singapore has had to suspend trade with North Korea.
 
Pokka’s parent company is Japan-based Pokka Sapporo Group. Tokyo and North Korea also have an ongoing trade ban.

In its statement, MFA said that it was unable to reveal more details given that investigations are ongoing.
 
“Singapore will not hesitate to take action against any entity that breaches our laws and regulations which give effect to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” the ministry added. 
 
Following the NK News report, Pokka International — the international marketing arm of Pokka Sapporo — said it is “aware of recent media reports regarding alleged export of products to North Korea”. “These reports contain many false and unsubstantiated allegations,” it added. 
 
It said it is “committed to ensuring that it complies with all national laws and UN sanctions, including ensuring that it has no dealings with North Korea”.

The company said it enforces a firm policy not to trade with distributors that export to North Korea directly or indirectly, and has robust internal policies in place that would prevent the execution of a trade with a distributor in North Korea.

It added that it is “cooperating fully with the authorities in relation to their ongoing investigations”. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story has been amended to better reflect Pokka’s position. 

Related topics

Pokka trade North Korea United Nations sanctions

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