SEOUL – North Korea lost an equivalent of 7.4 percent of its exports in 2016 as compared to 2015 due to United Nations sanctions, according to a report published on Wednesday by South Korea’s Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS).
The report estimates that Pyongyang incurred a loss of $200 million in foreign currency between March (when the first sanctions of the year came into effect) and December.
The figure has been estimated after taking into account decline in North Korean exports – mainly to China, its main trading partner – and fall in remittances from abroad.
The report underlines that countries, including China and Kuwait, have become more stringent regarding the entry of North Korean workers following the sanctions.
INSS also stressed that the shutting down of the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex has severely affected the North Korean economy.
UN Security Council adopted resolution 2270 in March last year, after the Kim Jong un-regime conducted a nuclear test and launched a space rocket that uses intercontinental ballistic missile technology.
In November, the UNSC approved resolution 2321 with fresh sanctions on North Korea – focusing especially on the country’s coal exports – for another underground nuclear test in September.
Although INSS did not take into account the effects of this new resolution, Seoul calculated that in December the impact would be even greater: around $800 million per year.
The report finally stressed on the importance of implementing the sanctions consistently, given their effects on the North Korean economy.