DPRK-ROK income gap reaches record in 2009

According to Arirang News:

The income disparity between South and North Korea has widened by close to 40 times.

According to figures released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday South Korea’s Gross National Income reached 837 billion US dollars in 2009 about 37 times more than North Korea’s 22 billion dollars.

South Korea’s GNI per person posted 17,175 US dollars roughly 18 times more than North Korea’s 960 dollars while in annual trade the South saw 686 billion dollars in 2009 which is 202 times larger than the North’s 3 billion dollars.

As for economic growth that year the South saw a [0.2%] expansion in the wake of the global financial crisis whereas the North posted a contraction of 0.9.

Economists say such figures show that it is almost impossible for North Korea to catch up with South Korea anytime soon.

An official with the finance ministry in Seoul says South Korea’s overall economic strength is about 40 times that of the communist regime adding that such power provides the foundation for South Korea to stay ahead of North Korea in every field including defense.

And according to the Choson Ilbo:

South Korea’s economy is 37.4 times larger than North Korea’s, according to the latest data. Statistics Korea said Wednesday that as of 2009 South Korea’s nominal gross national income stood at US$837.2 billion as against North Korea’s GNI of $22.4 billion. The figure is slightly lower than the 37.7-fold gap seen in 2008 but marked a significant increase from the 34.7-fold difference seen in 2006.

Per-capita GNI was $17,175 in the South, 17.9 times larger than North Korea’s $960, and South Korea’s total trade volume of $686.6 billion was 201.9 times greater than North Korea’s $3.4 billion.

But North Korea has ample mineral resources. As of 2008, North Korea had W6,983.6 trillion (US$1=W1,126) worth of mineral resources, 24.1 times more than South Korea’s W289.1 trillion. The North has an estimated W2,679.7 trillion worth of magnesite (6 billion tons), W2,662.9 trillion worth of coal (20.5 billion tons), and W61.33 trillion worth of gold (2,000 tons). South Korea had no magnesite while its coal deposits amount to just W15.7 billion or 1.36 billion tons, 5.9 percent of North Korea’s.

Statistics Korea also cited media reports to describe the rising interest among North Koreans in South Korean pop culture. South Korean-made mixers, heaters, gas ranges, gas containers, lunch boxes, pressurized rice cookers, towels and gloves are sold in North Korea with the brand labels intact.

South Korean-made shampoo and conditioners are popular among high-ranking North Korean officials, with a 470 g product costing between 8,000 to 10,000 North Korean won and US$1.50 for a bar of soap. Some young North Koreans watch South Korean movies and TV dramas such as “Friend,” “My Wife is a Gangster,” and “Winter Sonata” on their Chinese laptops and listen to South Korean pop songs on their MP3 or CD players.

Read the full story here:
Income Gap Between South and North Korea Records 37 Times Differences in 2009
Arirang News
Kim Na-ri
1/5/2011

Economic Gap Between 2 Korea Remains Huge
Choson Ilbo
1/6/2011

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