Seoul, Jul 27 (EFE).- North Korea’s economy contracted by 0.1 percent in 2021 mainly due to the sanctions on Pyongyang and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an estimate published Wednesday by the South Korean central bank.
The calculation by the Bank of Korea (BOK) thus points to the second consecutive year of decline in North Korea’s economy, which however is significantly less than the contraction of 4.5 percent estimated for 2020.
The impoverished Asian country is subject to United Nations sanctions for its long-range ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Moreover, the regime has completely sealed its borders since the beginning of the coronavirus health crisis.
This has prevented not only the entry and exit of goods from the country, but also vital incomes such as tourism and foreign investment, mostly from China, the main supporter of the Kim Jong-un regime.
North Korea’s foreign trade fell by 17.3 percent to $710 million in 2021, mainly due to the aforementioned restrictions.
North Korean exports fell by 8.2 percent to $80 million, while imports fell 18.4 percent to $630 million.
Trade between North Korea and South Korea amounted to just $11 million, following the closure of the joint inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex in 2016.
According to BOK estimates, based on data from South Korean institutions specializing in the hermetic country – which does not publish its own official economic data -, North Korea’s nominal gross national income amounted to 36.3 trillion won ($327.7 billion) in 2021. EFE