DPRK’s external debt

According to the Korea Herald:

North Korea watchers in the West estimate the North’s outstanding debts to be around $12 billion, two thirds of which is owed to former communist states.

In 2008, a ruling Grand National Party lawmaker had suggested allowing North Korea to pay back its loans from South Korea with mineral resources or development rights.

Rep. Kwon Young-se said during a parliamentary audit two years ago that North Korea’s debts amount to $18 billion, nearly as much as the country’s economic output in the year 2007.

About five percent of it, or $920 million, was borrowed from South Korea.

“Loans for North Korea’s economic development from socialist countries in the 1950s and 60s, and Western nations in the 1970s have accumulated with overdue interest on outstanding debts,” Kwon said.

“North Korea’s per capita debt is around 930,000 won, slightly less than the country’s annual per capita income of 1.07 million won.”

Last year, a top South Korean government official said Seoul could pay for tours to North Korea with commodities instead of cash.

He said the issue of paying cash to North Korea had to be reconsidered based on the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, which slapped tightened sanctions on the reclusive state as punishment for its nuclear and missile programs.

The crossborder tours have been suspended for the past two years after a South Korean tourist was shot to death in the North’s mountain resort.

Read the full sotry here:
North Korea cornered with snowballing debts
Korea Herald
Kim So-hyun


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