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Inter-Korean transactions hit record high

Posted October. 22, 2000 19:53,   


Despite accelerating cooperation and exchanges between South and North Korea spurred on by the June 15th Joint Declaration, inter-Korean economic cooperation, as well as social and cultural cooperative projects in the private sectors, have dwindled, contrary to earlier expectations.

According to a report released Sunday by the Unification Ministry, there were six projects permitted by the Seoul government this year, including two economic and four social and cultural projects.

In particular, no projects have been permitted by the government since the Joint Declaration except for two social and cultural ventures. These were an information venture for cultural and art resources in North Korea and South Korean support for the DPR Korea Infobank (www.dprkorea.com ).

Despite sluggish public sector exchanges, inter-Korean trade from January to August this year reached US$295.7 million (about 325.3 billion won), bolstered by the South Korean government¡¯s support for the North, including fertilizers.

This figure was a 32.9% increase from the US$222 million (about 244.6 billion won) recorded for the same period last year, and this year¡¯s inter-Korean transactions are expected to reach a record high.

During the Jan.-to-Aug. period this year, the South¡¯s exports to the North amounted to about US$207.6 million (228.4 billion won), and imports reached US$88 million (96.9 billion).

Trade between the two Koreas, which recorded US$18.72 million (2 billion won) in 1989, the first year of transactions, increased to US$333.4 million (366.7 billion won) last year.

By product, petrochemical products topped the list of the South¡¯s exports to the North with 41.5%, followed by textiles (13.1%) and machinery and transportation equipment (10.7%). On the other hand, agro-fishery products accounted for the largest portion of imports from the North, registering 52%.