Chinese publish DPRK trade data

According to Bloomberg:

North Korea’s exports to China jumped 51 percent to $1.2 billion last year, led by iron ore, coal and copper, Chinese government data show. China’s sales to its ally rose 21 percent to $2.3 billion from a year earlier, with supplies of wheat and oil helping ease chronic shortages of fuel and food. Two-way trade fell 4 percent in 2009, when the United Nations tightened sanctions after Kim’s regime carried out a second nuclear test.

The revival in commerce contrasts with U.S. efforts to isolate North Korea after a year in which 50 South Koreans died in attacks that roiled markets. Kim needs China to meet a pledge to put “rice with meat soup” on every table and build a “thriving nation” by 2012, the centennial of his father and the nation’s founder, Kim Il Sung.

“Even if North Korea’s front door is firmly locked, there is every reason to think the regime can gain what it needs to survive with impunity as long as the back door is open to China,” said Scott Snyder, an adjunct senior fellow for Korea studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. China’s trade risks making sanctions “ineffective,” he said.

China sold $325.8 million of crude oil to North Korea last year, up 37 percent from 2009. China’s coal imports jumped 54 percent to $394.4 million, while iron ore purchases doubled to $195 million, according to China’s customs department.

Two-way trade of $3.5 billion was still dwarfed by China’s $207.2 billion commerce with South Korea.

London’s Telegraph added this little nugget to the story:

However analysts added that the North’s two-way trade of $3.5 billion – dwarfed by China’s $207.2 billion commerce with South Korea – would still give the regime little more than life support.

Read the full stories here:
North Korea Exports to China Show Birthday-Boy Kim’s `Back Door’ Reprieve
Bomi Kim


One Response to “Chinese publish DPRK trade data”

  1. Benoit says:

    Where does DPRK takes the money to pay for that 1.1 billion deficit between exports and imports?
    Debt? Who does lend them the funds?