SEOUL Impoverished North Korea celebrated the arrival this week of its 415th set of triplets, thanks to infusions of honey tonics and a legacy of care bestowed on triple births by the country, state news agency KCNA reported on Tuesday.
The triplets were born to Kim Sun Ok, who works in a shoe factory in capital Pyongyang, and her husband Kim Kyong who works in a factory producing soju, a fiery Korean liquor.
Thanks to the instructions of recently deceased leader Kim Jong-il, KCNA said, special care is afforded to triplets whose mothers are given special maternity care and gifts including clothes, blankets, milk and honey.
"Flowing into her body were honey tonics including the royal jelly honey and the barrenwort honey and various kinds of nutrients," KCNA reported.
The triplets can look forward to more rewards than most of the 22 million North Koreans, whose economy, by some calculations, has only just regained the level it achieved in 1974.
North Korea needs regular aid supplies to feed its population and recently struck a deal with the United States to supply food in exchange for promising to stop its nuclear and missile programs.
Kim lay in hospital for nearly 100 days to ensure the safe delivery of the triplets. KCNA said the first triplets were born in North Korea in 1947.