Thursday, July 06, 2017

North Korean economics

How does North Korea maintain economic relationships with many countries. Who buys what they export? Today's Wall Street Journal provides us with some answers.

Although it lags far behind China, India has been North Korea’s second biggest trade partner in the past couple of years, buying commodities including silver and selling it chemicals among other goods. Russia has exported petroleum products to North Korea and imported items such as garments and frozen fish. Last year, North Korea attempted to export military communications equipment to Eritrea via front companies in Malaysia, according to a recent U.N. report.

...More than 50,000 North Korean workers are employed abroad, according to the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a Seoul-based think tank, many in construction or factory jobs. For these workers, wages are paid directly to North Korean officials, raising hundreds of millions of dollars a year for the state, human-rights groups say.

These ties are under scrutiny as Pyongyang’s success at launching a missile that could reach Alaska is escalating the crisis over its weapons program. This week’s missile test took place on the back of a Chinese truck imported to North Korea for logging purposes, according to analysts.

...For the past five years, China has accounted for more than 80% of North Korea’s imports and exports, providing an economic lifeline even as political relations between Beijing and Pyongyang have deteriorated.
Read more here.

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