N. Korean economy down 0.1 pct in 2021 amid prolonged pandemic, sanctions

SEOUL– North Korea’s economy retreated 0.1 percent in 2021 from a year earlier, data showed Monday, amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic coupled with international sanctions.

The reclusive country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) fell for the second consecutive year, following a 4.5-percent on-year drop tallied in 2020, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

In 2021, the South Korean economy expanded 4.1 percent from the previous year.

North Korea’s per capita gross national income (GNI) stood at 1.42 million won last year. That of South Korea was 28 times higher at 40.4 million won.

North Korea’s trade volume tumbled 17.3 percent on-year to $710 million in 2021. Over the period, South Korea’s trade advanced 28.5 percent to hit $1.2 trillion, around 1,766 times higher than the North.

China accounted for nearly all of the North’s trade in 2021 at 95.6 percent, followed by Vietnam and India with 1.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

The North’s output of food crops in 2021, meanwhile, reached 4.69 million tons, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier. It hovered above 4.46 million tons posted by South Korea.

North Korea’s population stood at 25.48 million last year, compared with South Korea’s 51.75 million.

North Korean men had a life expectancy of 67 years last year, while women were expected to live to 73.8 years. South Korean men, in comparison, were expected to live to 80.9, and female life expectancy came to 86.8.

South Korea’s statistics agency has been publishing general information on North Korea since 1995 to shed light on its economic and social conditions.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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