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U.S. exports to N. Korea reach US$5.1 mln in H1: data

All Headlines 11:21 August 08, 2013

SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) -- U.S. exports to North Korea amounted to slightly over US$5 million in the first half of this year, with most of them shipped in June when Pyongyang shifted to a charm offensive, data showed Thursday.

According to the data by the U.S. Department of Commerce, American exports to the communist country totaled $5.1 million in the January-June period, down 25 percent from a year earlier. There were no first-half U.S. imports from North Korea.

U.S. exports to North Korea stood at a mere $1 million in the first five months of the year, but the figure soared to $4 million in June alone, according to the data.

North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in February and had made bellicose threats against the U.S. and South Korea. The unruly nation, however, had appeared to change its course in June by offering talks with them.

Most of the U.S. exports to the North were relief goods, according to media reports.

Citing a department official, the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that the U.S. exported meat worth $80,000 and $11,000 of fabric in June, with the remainder being free aid such as food and medicine.

The Voice of America (VOA) also said some 95.5 percent of the total exports between the two in the January-June period constitutes free assistance provided by U.S. private institutions.

The U.S. maintains a partial embargo against North Korea, banning its companies, their foreign branches and its people from making any type of commercial transactions, including exports, imports and investments.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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