How To Make Friends And Irritate Beijing

Taiwan is courting North Korea to offset China's regional clout

As barter deals go, it sure is different. Yu Tai, a Taiwanese investment company, is being offered a towering pyramid-shaped hotel that looms unfinished and ghostlike over downtown Pyongyang. The 1,000-room hotel, meant to be the world's largest, was to have been a symbol of North Korean achievements, but construction stopped years ago when Pyongyang ran out of money. Now, the North Koreans want to give a stake in it to Yu Tai, owned by Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang, as payment for shipments of rice, fuel, and fertilizer.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.