April 12, 2016 / 8:17 PM / a year ago

Former Hong Kong bank worker amasses North Korean badge collection

Thomas Hui poses with his glass case displaying more than 100 pins featuring former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at his apartment in Hong Kong, China April 11, 2016.Bobby Yip

HONG KONG - Former bank worker Thomas Hui has a fascination with badges from North Korea and has amassed a collection of more than 100 featuring former leaders of the Communist state.

The rare items, which are smuggled out of North Korea by Chinese people who do business there, are prized by collectors. Some sell for $600 or more.

Hui, 37, began collecting them after visiting Pyongyang in 2008 as a tourist. Badges of Kim II Sung, the state's founder, are among his favorites.

Although he can't confirm the badges are authentic, he said academic experts on North Korea have told him they are the real thing.  

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