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Coca-Cola Recalls Drinks After Poisoning in South Korea


An extortion threat forced Coca-Cola to recall thousands of cases of drinks in South Korea, and a Chinese automotive company is set to become that country's first to manufacture cars in the United States.

The Coca-Cola bottler in South Korea recalled 40,000 cases of its products after poison was found in three bottles of Coke. South Korean authorities have detained a woman accused of putting poison in the soft-drink bottles in an attempt to extort more than $2 million from Coca-Cola.

Company spokesman Kent Kaerhoeg in Hong Kong says the decision to recall the products was voluntary.

"In a situation like this we are not concerned about sales, we are concerned about consumer safety. And that is exactly why we have done this product recall," he said.

Kaerhoeg says the company began working with South Korean police as soon as they received the extortion threats. He also says that Coca-Cola is in close contact with a man who was hospitalized after drinking from one of the contaminated bottles. The company is helping provide the man with medical care.

Nanjing Automotive Corporation says it plans to become the first Chinese company to manufacture cars in the United States.

China's oldest carmaker purchased the failing British company MG Rover last year. Production under the MG brand is set to start in 2008 in the state of Okalahoma.

Isuzu Motors will start manufacturing trucks in Russia this month. The Japanese automaker is projecting sales of five hundred light duty commercial trucks this year, and plans to produce ten thousand vehicles annually within three years.

Hong Kong consumer goods exporter Li and Fung has announced the purchase of Rosetti Handbags and Accessories, a New York company.

Li and Fung, which trades commodities and retail goods in Asia, the United States and Europe, says the $162 million purchase will expand its private label and non-apparel business. The acquisition is expected to be complete by July 31.

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