07/22/2020, 14.08
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After trade with China plunges 70 per cent, N Korea experiences major foreign currency shortfall

When North Korea completely locked down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it hit its own economy hard, as 90 per cent of its trade is with China.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – After bilateral trade between China and North Korea plunged by 70 per cent, North Korea lost its main source of foreign currency.

This followed Pyongyang’s decision in January to lock down its already closely guarded borders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

For five months until May, all travel to and from the country was halted. This had immediate effects since the communist nation relies on China for 90 per cent of its trade. Over that period, North Korean exports dropped from US$ 81 million to US$ 18 million.

Now “North Korea will likely start accepting travellers from China in November,” a source told Nikkei last month.

However, this might not happen if COVID-19 makes a comeback in China. Travel between China and North Korea may have to wait. “I think it will be impossible to visit North Korea this year,” said another source.

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