June 07, 2011 12:30
Trade between North Korea and China nearly doubled in the first quarter of this year compared to 2010. Chinese imports of North Korean goods increased 214 percent on-year to US$401 million, while its exports to the country rose only 59 percent to $570 million.
As China's imports significantly increased overall during this period, its trade surplus with its communist neighbor shrank about 27 percent. The top import items were mining resources such as anthracite, iron, and zinc alloys, with the volume of anthracite surging a whopping 1,300 percent.
North Korea in turn imported crude oil, gasoline, wireless phones, and coal from its last remaining ally. South Korea's YTN News Agency reports that North Korea's import of mobile phones, which appear to be all old models, increased about 330 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, while gasoline rose 120 percent.
Experts say the increase in gasoline imports likely has to do with intensified military training since the North attacked the Navy corvette Cheonan and shelled Yeonpyeong Island last year.
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