Inter-Korean trade dries up in May

According to Yonhap (via Global Post):

Trade between South and North Korea came to virtually zero in May after inter-Korean tensions led to the shutdown of the Kaesong Industrial Complex seen as the last symbol of bilateral economic cooperation, the government said Monday.

The volume of inter-Korean trade reached only US$320,000 last month, which accounts for just over 1 percent of the $23.4 million recorded in April, according to the Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs.

The majority of the May trade represents electricity costs the South spent to maintain the plant facilities in the factory park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, according to the ministry. The South exported about $260,000 worth of electricity while importing $60,000 worth of periodicals from the North last month, the ministry said.

Inter-Korean exchange came to an abrupt halt in mid-April as the North withdrew North Korean workers employed by South Korean firms in the Kaesong industrial zone in protest against South Korea’s joint military drills with the U.S. in March.

The joint factory park made up almost all of the inter-Korean trade as chilly relations cut off other exchanges.

The number of cross-border trips permitted during May came to only seven, the ministry said, adding that they were the last batch of the seven South Korean workers who returned to the South after the closing of the Kaesong complex.

As inter-Korean relations remain frosty, the hiatus in inter-Korean trade is expected to continue, analysts said.

Read the full story here:
Inter-Korean trade comes to almost naught in May
Yonhap (via Global Post)
2013-6-24

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