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NK's trade reliance on China hits 10

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简介North Korean and Chinese flags fly on Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang in this June 19, 2019 photo. A...

North Korean and Chinese flags fly on Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang in this June 19, 2019 photo. AFP-Yonhap
North Korean and Chinese flags fly on Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang in this June 19, 2019 photo. AFP-Yonhap

North Korea's dependency on China for foreign trade hit its highest level in 2022 since its leader Kim Jong-un took the helm of the reclusive country 10 years earlier, a report showed Thursday.

Pyongyang's trade with Beijing came to US$1.53 billion last year, up about 125 percent from the previous year, according to the report from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

The amount took up 96.7 percent of North Korea's overall trade, up from 95.6 percent a year earlier.

Exports stood at $134 million and imports reached $1.398 billion, with its trade deficit rising to $1.27 billion from a $565 million shortfall.

The jump in North Korea's trade with its top trading partner was attributed to softened COVID-19 restrictions and increased railroad trade between the neighbors.

Vietnam ranked second with 1 percent, with Argentina, Nigeria and the Netherlands among the other trading nations.

The report also showed that North Korea's overall external trade reached $1.59 billion in 2022, up a whopping 122.3 percent from a year earlier.

Overseas shipments surged 94 percent on-year to $159 million, with imports spiking 126 percent to $1.43 billion. Its trade deficit widened sharply to $1.27 billion last year from a deficit of $549 million a year earlier.

Minerals were North Korea's top export item in 2022, with their exports shooting up 7,281 percent to around $4.5 million. Crude and other oil products were the No. 1 import good at $520 million, which accounted for 36.4 percent of its total imports.

A KOTRA official said North Korea's trade with China is expected to expand further this year, given a 270 percent jump in bilateral trade in the first five months of the year. (Yonhap)


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