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Chosun: China Strengthened Economic Support to North Korea

South Korea’s largest newspaper Chosun recently published two reports in its Chinese Edition on significantly increased support from China to the North Korean economy. After Kim Jong-un’s third visit to China in June, China reopened its aid in the form of fertilizer, food, and cooking oil. It was part of China’s promise of “large scale” aid. The fertilizer volume could have set a record high already, surpassing the 200,000 tons peak volume in 2013. The crude oil supply from China to North Korea is now at the pace of 80,000 tons per month, which is the equivalent of an annual volume of 960,000 tons. The UN sanctions set the annual ceiling at 560,000 tons. Many people witnessed that a large number of iron ore trucks entered China in June. The United Nations currently bans North Korea from exporting iron ore. Also, starting July 10, North Korea established a free trade market in Rason City, which borders with China. Chinese citizens are allowed into the market without a visa. Aquatic products are currently the most popular item in that market. This is an important channel for North Korea to obtain foreign currencies.

Sources: Chosun
{1} July 20, 2018.
{2} July 19, 2018.