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Chosun: North Korean Newspaper Rodong Sinmun Distribution Volume Fell Sharply

In its Chinese Edition, South Korea’s largest newspaper, Chosun, recently reported that the daily distribution of Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, dropped in volume from 600,000 down to 200,000. Sources said the Party stopped the distribution to all individual families due to a lack of paper. Rodong Sinmun is North Korea’s official newspaper; it has been serving three million Party members since 1945, with an original distribution population of 1.5 million. The volume got cut in half in the 1990’s due to an economic downturn. Last year it was reduced down to 600,000. North Korea does not produce enough paper with good quality and half of the paper supply depends on China. With the recent tightened international sanctions in place, there has been a sharp decline in paper imports. Analysts expressed the belief that the importation of paper is not the issue since paper does not fall within the scope of the sanctions and that, therefore, the cause must be the lack of funds.

Source: Chosun, February 22, 2018