Go to contents

South Korea`s total trade 178 times that of North Korea last year

South Korea`s total trade 178 times that of North Korea last year

Posted December. 22, 2000 19:30,   


South Korea¡¯s total trade amount last year was 178 times that of North Korea, reinforcing an ever-widening gap between the two countries.

In terms of population, South Korea has twice as many people as North Korea, and the total population of two Koreas number 68.94 million, the 15th highest total in the world.

These and others figures were contained in data the National Statistical Office (NSO) released Friday for the purpose of comparing the economic and social aspects of the two Koreas.

The South¡¯s total imports and exports amounted to $263.44 billion, versus the North¡¯s $1.48 billion. In 1990, the South¡¯s amount was 29 times that of the North, while in 1997 it was 129 times and in 1998 157 times.

In terms of trade surplus, the South recorded $23.94 billion in 1999, while the North suffered a deficit of $450 million. In the 1990s, North Korea recorded deficits of $300-800 million annually.

As for gross national income (GNI), the South registered $402.1 billion, 25.5 times the North¡¯s $15.8 billion. The gap in GNI between the two Korean narrowed a little in 1998, but widened again in 1999.

The South¡¯s per capita GNI stood at $8,581, 12 times the North¡¯s $714. The South posted a 10.7 percent economic growth rate in 1999, while the North registered 6.25 percent. North Korea had recorded minus growth for nine years in a row since 1990, but rebounded to a positive growth last year for the first time.

The total population of the South in 1999 was 46,858,000, double the North¡¯s 22,082,000. The South had a total of 4.21 million agricultural workers, while the North had 8.1 million, which is 1.9 times the South¡¯s. The ratio of agricultural workers to total population was 9 percent in the South and 36.7 percent in the North. This means that 37 out of 100 North Koreans are from farming families.