April 02, 2012 09:53
North Korea earned at least US$1.8 billion from exports of underground resources last year, Radio Free Asia reported last Friday.
The figure is double the rough amount of $900 million it earned from resource exports the previous year and equivalent to the amount the regime is reportedly spending on the centenary of nation founder Kim Il-sung on April 15.
The regime is expected to spend at least $2 billion for the festivities, which among other things require large handouts to the population to give an illusion of prosperity.
South Korean authorities speculate that the regime spent another $850 million building a long-range missile to be launched around the time of the centenary and a missile launch pad in Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan Province.
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