January 16, 2019 13:43
North Korea posted a record trade deficit of US$1.97 billion with China last year, Voice of America reported Tuesday quoting Chinese customs statistics.
The North's exports to China amounted to just $210 million in 2018, down a whopping 88 percent on-year and the smallest since 2001, and imports to $2.18 billion, down 33 percent.
With exports shrinking to 1/10 of imports, the North's trade deficit with China hit an all-time high. In 2017, the North posted a trade deficit of $1.67 billion with China.
Chinese customs said this was the result of China faithfully implementing UN Security Council sanctions against the North.
In February last year, China announced it would no longer import North Korean coal, which was the renegade country’s biggest export, in accordance with the UNSC resolutions. In August and September, it banned imports of minerals, seafood and textile products from the North.
The drastic decrease in exports to China has devastated the North Korean economy. "As a result of sanctions, transactions in the markets of Pyongyang have dwindled significantly and sales have shrunk to maybe 1/10," a source said. "Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs because garment factories have received no orders from China."
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