Economy of North Korea

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Economy - overview: North Korea, one of the world's most centrally planned and isolated economies, faces desperate economic conditions. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and spare parts shortages. The nation faces its seventh year of food shortages because of weather-related problems, including major drought in 2000, and chronic shortages of fertilizer and fuel. Massive international food aid deliveries have allowed the regime to escape the major consequence of spreading economic failure, such as mass starvation, but the population remains vulnerable to prolonged malnutrition and deteriorating living conditions. Large-scale military spending eats up resources needed for expanding investment and consumption goods. In 2000, the regime placed emphasis on expanding foreign trade links, embracing modern technology, and attracting foreign investment, but in no way at the expense of relinquishing central control over key national assets or undergoing market-oriented reforms.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $22 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 30%
industry: 42%
services: 28% (1999 est.)
Labor force: 9.6 million
Labor force - by occupation: agricultural 36%, nonagricultural 64%
Industries: military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism
Electricity - production: 28.6 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  34.62%
hydro:  65.38%
nuclear:  0%
other:  0% (1999)
Agriculture - products: rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs
Exports: $520 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Exports - commodities: minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments); agricultural and fishery products
Exports - partners: Japan 28%, South Korea 21%, China 5%, Germany 4%, Russia 1% (1995)
Imports: $960 million (c.i.f., 1999 est.)
Imports - commodities: petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment; consumer goods, grain
Imports - partners: China 33%, Japan 17%, Russia 5%, South Korea 4%, Germany 3% (1995)
Debt - external: $12 billion (1996 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: an estimated $200 million to $300 million in humanitarian aid from US, South Korea, Japan, and EU in 1997 plus much additional aid from the UN and non-governmental organizations; substantial continuing humanitarian aid, 1998-2000.
Currency: North Korean won (KPW)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

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