North Korea Hostel

North Korea City Hostel:

Berlin is increasing the pressure: the controversial "City Hostel" on the grounds of the North Korean embassy has to close.

The Berlin-Mitte district office has recently informed the federal government that the operating company should be given two weeks to close the hostel and to cease any use of the building in connection with the grounds of the embassy. Otherwise, there is a risk of fines.

The district office initially did not want to comment on the matter. However, there will be a message in the coming days, a spokesman said.

The "City Hostel" has resided in a building on Glinkastrasse not far from Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin-Mitte since 2007.

It is located on the site of the embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea and is operated by the Berlin company EGI GmbH.

According to the lease, the company paid a monthly rent of 38,000 euros to the landlord, the North Korean embassy.

The ongoing operation of the hostel is a prohibited activity:

The Berlin administrative court ruled a few weeks ago that the company was violating an existing EU regulation based on UN sanctions against the North Korean regime.

Accordingly, real estate transactions with North Korea have been banned since 2017 to prevent the totalitarian state from using the foreign exchange to finance its nuclear weapons program.

In November 2018, the Berlin-Mitte district office prohibited the operators of the "City Hostel" from operating the property.

EGI GmbH, on the other hand, brought an action before the administrative court.

The rental agreement was terminated by the North Korean embassy, ​​and the company has not paid rent since April 2017, said the lawyer of the hostel operator, Felix Hahn. As a result, sanctions are not violated.

The court disagreed with this argument and dismissed the lawsuit a few weeks ago. The ongoing operation of the hostel is already a prohibited activity in connection with the purchase of real estate from the North Korean state.


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