|Construction in North Korea turned positive last year, Seoul said, as did the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.(Photo by= AFP/Ed Jones)|
[아시아뉴스통신=레악카나 기자] North Korea's sanctions-hit economy defied the impact of international restrictions to grow for the first time in three years in 2019, the South's central bank said Friday (Jul 31).Nuclear-armed Pyongyang is highly secretive and refuses to publish growth statistics of its own, leaving outsiders reliant on estimates drawn up from other sources.
In Seoul, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said the North's gross domestic product rose by 0.4 per cent in 2019, after shrinking by 4.1 per cent the previous year. Construction turned positive last year, the BOK said in a statement, as did the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, while contraction in mining and manufacturing narrowed.
Under leader Kim Jong Un the North has repeatedly promised to raise living standards and has quietly sought to liberalise its long-moribund economy to allow market forces to play a greater role.
But it has not proclaimed widespread reforms, insisting that it is following the ideological path of Kim's grandfather, the North's founder Kim Il Sung and his son and successor Kim Jong Il. And the North's gross national income per capita stood at about 1.4 million won (about US$1,200) it added - while the South's was more than 26 times higher.