BOK: N. Korea's GDP Shrank 4.5% in 2020
The Bank of Korea(BOK) estimates that North Korea saw its real gross domestic product(GDP) slip four-point-five percent last year from the previous year as it closed off its borders and adopted draconian measures to stave off an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
The central bank issued the assessment in a report on Friday.
The drop in GDP is the sharpest since 1997 when the North was devastated by mass starvation, economic hardship and a disastrous harvest, during a period know as "the Arduous March."
The North’s GDP growth stood at three-point-nine percent in 2016, then witnessed drops in 2017 and 2018 bogged down under international sanctions. The figure then posted growth in 2019 but again slipped from 2020, presumably leaving the North’s real economy at a level posted in 2003.
A BOK official said the North saw its GDP slip last year after enforcing stringent COVID-19 quarantine regulations and stopped importing consumer goods as the pandemic swept across the globe. The North closed its borders, restricted passage and banned foreigners’ entry while facing international sanctions.
[Photo : YONHAP News]