If you didn’t know we had a North Korean embassy in Singapore, now you do. You’re welcome.

Recently, the embassy moved from some nondescript landed property in Joo Chiat which could pass off for your rich old uncle’s house:


Photo: Sammyboy

… to a 31-storey office building right along the Singapore River at Clarke Quay:


Photo: Yahoo Finance

The new office is just across the road from The Treasury, which houses several government agencies like MOF, MTI, MinLaw, PSD.

More importantly, it has a jin satki view of the area, quite possibly better than those government offices because it is on the 15th floor (The Treasury has 11 storeys) and has an unobstructed view of the area:


Photo: DPRK360

In case you ever need to look smart and quirky when making small talk with strangers, here is some NK trivia:

  1. Did you know SG established diplomatic relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, in 1975? This was way before we did the same with China in 1990.
  1. North Koreans actually come to SG quite frequently ­– for training on economic policy, entrepreneurship and law. This is mostly done through SG-based NGO Chosun Exchange that supports entrepreneurship in NK. And then there’s medical tourism which SG is famous for, not just among NK people.
  1. As of 2014, Singapore was the 5th largest import origin for North Korea, after China, Thailand, Russia and India. What did they buy from SG? In 2014, it was tobacco products, paper products, aluminium foil, among other things, adding up to a total of US$48.4m.


In comparison, NK exports to SG totalled US$118,000, of which 97% was molluscs. Yeah, the shelled animals. Maybe abalones and oysters for our seafood restaurants?

  1. Other units on the 15th floor, i.e. NK embassy’s neighbours include: Singapore River Cruise (the company that runs the river taxis along SG river), a travel and time-share agency, a cruise-based events company and a computer software company.
  1. On MFA’s website, the embassy staff listing includes First Secretary and Third Secretary.


What happened to #2? DUN DUN DUNNNNN.