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Blockchain conference slated for Pyongyang in April

North Korean students take a multimedia class in a computer lab at the Pyongyang Science and Technology Complex in this <strong></strong>Oct. 4 photo. Korea Times file
North Korean students take a multimedia class in a computer lab at the Pyongyang Science and Technology Complex in this Oct. 4 photo. Korea Times file

By Jung Da-min

A Spanish-based pro-North Korean organization will hold a blockchain and cryptocurrency conference in Pyongyang in April.

The Korean Friendship Association (KFA) said on its website that the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference will be held in the Science and Technology Complex in the North Korean capital April 22 and 23.

"International experts in the blockchain and crypto industry will gather for the first time in Pyongyang to share their knowledge and vision, establish connections and discuss business opportunities," it said.

Those with passports from South Korea, Japan and Israel are not allowed to attend. No journalists are invited.

U.S. citizens are "welcome to apply," KFA said, despite the U.S. government's travel ban that has been extended through Aug. 31, 2019.

North Korea in response to the U.S. ban that took effect since September last year said that it would "leave [its] door wide open to any U.S. citizen who would like to visit."

Conference participants also will tour the Information Technology Company and the Daedonggang Beer Factory on April 24.

The conference is being promoted as North Korea emphasizes its self-reliant economy against international sanctions slapped on it for its nuclear and missile programs.

The South's state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) in an August report said only a few with "special computer skills" are allowed to mine and trade bitcoins under the regime's direction.

The April conference also comes with tour packages priced at 3,300 euros ($3,761) a person.

The KFA has organized a six-day program for the event, including the two-day conference and four days of tours from April 19 to 21 and April 24.

Participants will visit landmark places in Pyongyang, Gaeseong and Panmunjeom. The itinerary includes the recently opened inter-Korean liaison office in Gaeseong.


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