October 26, 2018 13:27
North Korea's economy will shrink five percent this year due to international sanctions, an expert said Thursday.
Kim Byung-yeon at Seoul National University told Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun daily, "If the sanctions are thoroughly implemented, North Korea's exports this year will dive about 90 percent compared to 2016, exerting a huge impact on its domestic prices."
Kim added, "The North has come to the dialogue table, as its elite class were unable to benefit from trade [due to the sanctions] and the economically distressed ordinary people failed to understand their country's nuclear development program."
But he added that the North Korean regime will be able to hold out over the short term.
Meanwhile, North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun daily slammed Australia's deployment of a navy frigate to monitor smuggling on the East China Sea, accusing the country of being a "pawn" of the U.S. "when many UN members call for easing or lifting the sanctions against us."
The daily added that "sanctions or diplomatic pressure do not work" on North Korea. One researcher at a state-run think tank here said, "This paradoxically shows how much North Korea wants the sanctions to end."
Cho Han-bum at the Korea Institute for National Unification said, "The U.S. is not yielding in terms of sanctions and Kim Jong-un is getting really nervous."
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