North Korea has new ATMs (that don't work)!
The good news for travelers to Pyongyang North Korea: The airport now has ATMs — two or them even!
Now the bad news: Apparently neither of machines, owned by North Korea's Ryugyong Commercial Bank, is working. And, according to an AP report in the Minneapolis StarTribune, it's not certain that they ever will.
The same is true of a third ATM the bank installed earlier in a central Pyongyang hotel mostly frequented by Chinese tourists.
Personnel at the airport said that two new ATMs were in "test phase," according to the report. However tellers at the RCB branch in the hotel said the blackout was the result of Chinese sanctions slapped on North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.
The tellers' explanation is probably closer to the truth, as North Korea's banking sector has been a focus of efforts to persuade the country's leadership to end its saber-rattling ways.
At any rate, it's not as if that those shiny new airport ATMs would see much traffic. Tensions between China and the North have led Chinese travel agencies to drop North Korean from their offerings, the report said.