December 16, 2019 08:23
The North Korean economy was 53 times smaller than South Korea's last year. Statistics Korea said last week that the North's GDP amounted to W35.9 trillion, compared to W1,898.5 trillion of the South (US$1=W1,174).
The economic gap between the two Koreas widened from the previous year, when the North's economy was 43 times smaller than the South's. The North's per capita gorss national income last year was W1.43 million, less than four percent of South Korea's W36.79 million.
The growing gap is largely attributed to international sanctions that cut the North's trade volume in half to US$2.84 billion, the lowest since 2003. The regime has been in severe straits since the international community tightened economic sanctions in 2016.
According to a Bank of Korea estimate, the North's economy shrank 4.3 percent last year, the worst since the great famine in the mid-90s.
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