Inter-Korean trade down 20% in last year

According to Asia Pulse Businesswire (Hat tip to Oliver):

Trade between South and North Korea declined 19.6 per cent in January from a year earlier, apparently hit by the slumping South Korean economy and frayed Seoul-Pyongyang relations, the South’s official data showed on Feb. 22.

Inter-Korean trade reached US$113 million in January, down from $140.5 million a year ago, marking the fifth straight monthly fall, the data made available by Unification Ministry in Seoul said.

“The decline in inter-Korean trade appears compounded by several factors like the slowing economic downturn and frozen relations between the two Koreas,” the ministry said in the data.

Inter-Korean relations have chilled since conservative South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office a year ago, pledging to get tough on North Korea.

The South Korean economy is sharply slumping, due to tumbling exports and sluggish domestic demand. South Korea is widely expected to post negative economic growth this year, the first annual contraction since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

Inter-Korean trade dips 20 pct in January
Asia Pulse Businesswire
February 26, 2009


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