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    Korea, North Economy - 1990

      Overview: More than 90% of this command economy is socialized; agricultural land is collectivized; and state-owned industry produces 95% of manufactured goods. State control of economic affairs is unusually tight even for a Communist country because of the small size and homogeneity of the society and the strict one-man rule of Kim. Economic growth during the period 1984-89 has averaged approximately 3%. Abundant natural resources and hydropower form the basis of industrial development. Output of the extractive industries includes coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals. Manufacturing emphasis is centered on heavy industry, with light industry lagging far behind. The use of high-yielding seed varieties, expansion of irrigation, and the heavy use of fertilizers have enabled North Korea to become largely self-sufficient in food production. North Korea, however, is far behind South Korea in economic development and living standards.

      GNP: $28 billion, per capita $1,240; real growth rate 3% (1989)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

      Unemployment rate: officially none

      Budget: revenues $15.6 billion; expenditures $15.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1989)

      Exports: $2.4 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities--minerals, metallurgical products, agricultural products, manufactures; partners--USSR, China, Japan, FRG, Hong Kong, Singapore

      Imports: $3.1 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities--petroleum, machinery and equipment, coking coal, grain; partners--USSR, Japan, China, FRG, Hong Kong, Singapore

      External debt: $2.5 billion hard currency (1989)

      Industrial production: growth rate NA%

      Electricity: 6,440,000 kW capacity; 40,250 million kWh produced, 1,740 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: machine building, military products, electric power, chemicals, mining, metallurgy, textiles, food processing

      Agriculture: accounts for about 25% of GNP and 36% of work force; principal crops--rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; livestock and livestock products--cattle, hogs, pork, eggs; not self-sufficient in grain; fish catch estimated at 1.7 million metric tons in 1987

      Aid: Communist countries (1970-88), $1.3 billion

      Currency: North Korean won (plural--won); 1 North Korean won (Wn) = 100 chon

      Exchange rates: North Korean won (Wn) per US$1--2.3 (December 1989), 2.13 (December 1988), 0.94 (March 1987), NA (1986), NA (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Korea, North on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Korea, North Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea, North Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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