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N. Korea's 2018 trade shrank by half compared to 2017: trade agency Updated: 2019-07-19 16:39:13 KST

International sanctions are clearly taking a toll on North Korea's economy, slashing its trade down to half.
According to Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency's report on Friday, Pyeongyang's trade volume in 2018 shrank by a whopping 49-percent compared to the previous year.
Down for two consecutive years, the volume stood at 2.8 trillion U.S. dollars, recording below 3 trillion dollars for the first time since Kim Jong-un assumed power in 2012.
North Korea's exports dropped by 86-percent and imports, by 31-percent.

The report cited three UN sanctions resolutions in place since 2017.
North Korea's exports of coal, iron and clothes are banned, while the regime is not allowed to import industrial machines and equipment.

Because of these sanctions, the North became even more dependent on China for trade -- up to 96-percent.
But their bilateral trade shrank by over 48-percent last year as well, which was another critical hit for the regime's overall trade.

As the North Korean economy faces a downturn and international sanctions remain solidly in place, Pyeongyang is turning its eyes to tour programs for a source of income.
North Korea's tour website DPRKorea Tour introduced sightseeing programs to Paekdu-san Mountain and cities like Pyeongyang and Gaeseong for foreigners.
The website also announced that a marathon event will take place in late September.

Earlier this month, the North promoted tours to Geumgang-san Mountain and golf, bicycle and ski tours for people from China, Russia, Switzerland and Germany.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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