Chinese exports to North Korea return to growth in November According to Reuters

© Reuters. A man stands near a Chinese national flag flying on a cruise ship on the Yalu River separating North Korea and China in Dandong, Liaoning Province, China April 20, 2021. Picture taken April 20, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese exports to North Korea returned to growth in November from a decline the previous month, Chinese customs data showed on Wednesday, as Pyongyang reopens its economy after the pandemic.

Chinese shipments to North Korea rose 18.3% last month from October, the fastest such increase since April, data released by China’s General Administration of Customs showed. In October, deliveries decreased by 11.2% compared to the previous month.

Compared to the same month a year ago, China’s shipments to North Korea rose 94.3% in November, accelerating from 40.9% year-on-year growth in October.

Processed hair and wool for use in wigs, granulated sugar and soybean oil were China’s main exports to the reclusive state.

In the first 11 months of the year, the value of Chinese exports to North Korea rose to $1.78 billion, up 147% from the same period last year.

As it slowly opens up after the pandemic, North Korea has allowed visits by Chinese government delegations and restarted flights between Pyongyang and Beijing.

North Korea’s Air Koryo flights between Pyongyang and the northeastern Chinese city of Shenzhen resumed on Dec. 13 for the first time in nearly four years, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

During talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Ho in Beijing on Monday, Wang said Beijing is willing to strengthen two-way communication and coordination while deepening exchanges and cooperation.

North Korea is officially China’s only ally. Both are bound by a treaty signed in 1961 to take all necessary measures, including military assistance, to assist each other in the event of an attack or attempted attack by a third country.

North Korea on Monday fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach anywhere in the United States, South Korea and Japan said.