Signs put up by Chinese security officials, banning smuggling and drug trafficking. Photograph taken in July 2017 by ISHIMARU Jiro

◆ Gas prices have stabilized- but why?

North Korea has been subjected to severe economic sanctions from the international community. In addition to its exports, imports of petroleum products such as gasoline are also strictly limited. The UN Security Council resolution ‘No. 2397’, adopted in December 2017, set a cap of exports of petroleum products to North Korea at 500,000 barrels. This marked a cut of nearly 90% compared to 2016 and was a big blow to the Kim Jong-un regime.

Gasoline prices in North Korea rose immediately and, in 2018, prices exceeded more than 2.65 USD per liter. Half a year later, however, gasoline prices began to slowly fall back down.

Towards the end of April this year, prices stabilized at about 1.27 USD per liter. This was likely due to gasoline imported from China or Russia, exceeding the cap set by the UN.
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