• Kyodo

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North Korea’s total trade plunged to its lowest level in the past 10 years in 2018, an organization operated by the South Korean government said Friday, as the international community maintains tough economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

The total volume of North Korea’s trade dove 48.8 percent from a year earlier to $2.84 billion last year, marking the second straight year of decline.

In 2018, exports fell 86.3 percent to $243 million, while imports dropped 31.2 percent to $2.60 billion.

Total trade fell below $3 billion for the first time since Kim Jong Un became the supreme leader following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011.

The latest data were released by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

In 2017, the U.N. Security Council decided to impose tighter sanctions aimed at preventing North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, including putting caps on the country’s imports of petroleum products and crude oil, as well as a ban on its coal exports.

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