N.Korean People lament, “We’ll be done if Chinese enforce the sanctions”

2016/2/5

The international community is calling for further sanctions on North Korea following the recalcitrant state’s fourth nuclear test, and plans to launch a satellite rocket in the coming weeks.

Around 90% of North Korea’s foreign trade is with China. How much influence does China have on the everyday life of ordinary North Koreans? We contacted our reporting partners in North Korea to find out.
(Kang Ji-won – Paek Chang-ryong- defector reporters)

The rice shown in the above picture is imported from China. When asked about the cost, the vendors reply in Chinese currency. (Taken by Asia Press on October 2013)

The rice shown in the above picture is imported from China. When asked about the cost, the vendors reply in Chinese currency. (Taken by Asia Press on October 2013)

Reporting partner “A” was sure that if China cut off support for North Korea, then the country would collapse.

He added, “All the factories in our area are operated with Chinese investment and earnings are dependent on exporting to China.. Around 100 unmarried North Korean women were dispatched to China as workers, last October and November. These state laborers work in restaurants and they pay a portion of their wage to the state. I believe that the economic dependency of North Korea on China accounts for 80% of economic exchange. The economy in our area is, needless to say, relying on trade with China.

Items such as toilet paper are sold at Moran market in central Pyongyang. All these are from China. (Taken by Koo Gwang-ho/Asia Press on June 2011)

Items such as toilet paper are sold at Moran market in central Pyongyang. All these are from China. (Taken by Koo Gwang-ho/Asia Press on June 2011)

Another reporting partner in the northern areas stressed the importance of China to North Korea as follows: “China is absolutely essential. Our country can’t survive without her. Without Chinese products the markets can’t be maintained, nor can trading companies earn foreign currency. If the customs office closed, we wouldn’t be able to export our seafood. How can we survive without China?”