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N. Korea's exports of mineral resources top US$860 mln last year

All Headlines 10:11 May 07, 2011

SEOUL, May 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's exports of mineral resources jumped 17-fold in a decade with its outbound shipment of coals and iron ores leading the growth, a U.S. report showed on Saturday.

According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), the communist state's exports of mineral resources reached US$860 million last year, compared with some $50 million in 2002.

Citing data compiled by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, the RFA said exports of such minerals as coal and iron ore accounted for 63 percent of its total exports to its strongest ally China.

In the first quarter of the year, the North earned around $154 million by exporting coal to the neighboring country, compared with $9.68 million seen a year earlier.

North Korea's mineral reserves are believed to be among the largest in the world, worth some 7,000 trillion won, based on 2008 prices, according to an earlier report by the Unification Ministry.

sam@yna.co.kr
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