SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's economy grew for the first time in three years last year, data showed Monday.
The reclusive country's real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.4 percent last year after two consecutive years of contraction of 4.1 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent in 2017, according to data compiled by Statistics Korea.
The statistics agency said the North's economic growth was led by expansion in its construction, agriculture and fisheries sectors.
South Korea's statistics office has been publishing general information on the North since 1995 to shed light on the economic and social conditions of the reclusive country.
North Korea's nominal gross national income (GNI) last year, however, declined 0.9 percent to 35.6 trillion won (US$32.5 billion) from the previous year. Per capita income also decreased to 1.41 million won last year from 1.43 million won in 2018.
In comparison, South Korea's GNI stood at 1,935.7 trillion won last year, around 54 times larger than North Korea's.
The statistics agency added that Pyongyang's trade volume last year was valued at $3.24 billion, compared to Seoul's $1.05 trillion.
North Korea's population stood at 25.3 million last year, compared to South Korea's 51.7 million population.
North Korean men had a life expectancy of 66.7 last year, while women were expected to live to 73.5 years. South Korean men, in comparison, were expected to live to 80, and female life expectancy was 85.9.
North Korea's trade is expected to take a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic this year as it focuses on curbing the novel coronavirus' spread. The country's trade with China reached an all-time low in October to $1.7 million, according to a report by the Korea International Trade Association.
Talk of 'normalizing' GSOMIA raises hope, skepticism around Seoul-Tokyo ties
S. Korea, U.S., Japan close ranks amid growing N.K. threats
N. Korea says month-old virus crisis under control, but skepticism lingers
Yoon, Biden agree to broaden, deepen alliance amid N.K. threats, China's assertiveness
Biden's trip highlights commitment to stronger alliance, hope for S. Korea's pivotal role in security: experts