Egyptian Business Tycoon ‘Sawiris’ Meets with Senior Officials in North Korea

Naguib Sawiris was reportedly in Pyongyang and met with senior officials of the Workers Party of Korea.

RT, a Russian state-owned news network, cited North Korean news sources saying that Lee Sou Yeon, the Vice President of Political Affairs in the ruling party, met with the Egyptian business tycoon ‘Naguib Sawiris’, the Chairman of Orascom Telecom to hold talks in Pyongyang.

Details of what was discussed remains scant, but it is likely discussions included talks about Koryolink.

IOrascom Telecom has been cooperating for years with Pyongyang in the field of communication and it has been also investing in Koryolink, the North Koran company.

However, Orascom has undergone a severe crisis in the last two years as it has lost 75% of its shares in Koryolink communication company.

On the contrary, the North Korean company is currently benefiting a liquidity surplus that allowed it to enter into new investments.

In the same context, media outlets unveiled at a previous time that people looking forward to Ryugyong Hotel, the highest building in North Korea,that Egyptian Orascom has been investing in its construction after being mysterious for 30 years since its establishment.

It is worth to mention that Orascom has set up a bank in Pyongyang in 2008 to help transfer funds in and out of the country and also invested in the construction of the massive pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel in the city.

But Orascom Telecom has announced in 2016 that it will shut down Orabank, its affiliate bank in North Korea, due to US sanctions on the Pyongyang,

Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris has enjoyed unprecedented access to North Korea’s secretive leadership since signing a deal to build North Korea’s first commercial mobile phone network.

Sawiris has visited Pyongyang in recent years and, in 2011, he was photographed holding the hand of the late Kim Jong Il and linking arms with the North Korean dictator’s brother-in-law Jang Song Thaek.