Cartoons

Why North Korea no longer exists

“It’s a secret”

North Korea no longer exists – at least insofar as Chinese trade statistics are concerned.

Reuters reports that China has stopped publishing data on its sensitive trade flows with its belligerent neighbour (which likes to be known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).

Kim Jong-il’s regime depends on China for imports, particularly of commodities such as crude oil and last year the two countries bilateral trade was $2.79 billion.

However, for the past two months China has deleted its trade statistics with North Korea. They seem to be reappearing in a vaguer, new category titled ‘other Asia not elsewhere specified’. An official with the customs administration told Reuters: “We’re no longer issuing trade data about North Korea. We’re not allowed to issue the data anymore.”


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