◆June exports to China fall by 92% compared to previous year
Meanwhile, official trade between China and North Korea has ceased. The Chinese government constantly emphasizes that it is in ‘full compliance with the UN sanctions’. According to the June customs report issued by the Chinese Customs authorities in late July, North Korea's exports to China amounted to only 12,955,000 USD. This was a 92% decrease from that of the previous year. Imports saw a decrease of 37.5%, totalingUSD 241.93 million, while total imports and exports decreased by 55.5 percent to 217.158 million USD.
This sort of smuggling at the border would be impossible without the collusion of Chinese authorities. The Chinese authorities have strengthened security measures against North Korean defectors escaping the country and smuggling activities by setting up barbed-wire fences. Further, as of April this year, smuggling was practically eliminated due to frequent security checks and patrols. After Kim Jong-un’s second visit to China on May 7, smuggling became more prevalent. It seems that the de facto "easing of sanctions", which is invisible in trade statistics, has begun.
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