January 07, 2019 10:48
North Korea's exports plummeted last year to just 1/10 of 2016's due to intensifying international sanctions, Voice of America reported Saturday. There are even forecasts that its foreign currency reserves could run out completely.
According to data from the International Trade Center and other sources, North Korea exported US$235.3 million worth of products to its 14 major trading partners including India, Mexico, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey in 2016, but that shrank to only $14.5 million as of the third quarter of last year.
Even if fourth-quarter figures are added, North Korea's exports in 2018 would not exceed 10 percent of 2016's.
According to Chinese customs data, North Korea's exports to China last year dropped to only eight percent of the volume in 2016.
Meanwhile, Radio Free Asia reported that torrential rains in North Korea's North Hwanghae Province in August last year left 42 people dead and 242,000 homeless. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, torrential downpours of up to 678 mm per hour resulted in landslides causing huge levels of damage.
Daniel Wallinder at the IFRC said, "The floods are part of a general and worrying trend in the past years of extreme and highly volatile weather that need further improvements in early warning systems and greater community training. Although geographically dispersed, the damage to land and to infrastructure often happens in areas that we could predict would be high-risk."
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