9 amazing facts about the economy of North Korea

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North Korea is one of the most closed countries in the world. This is the 25-million-people totalitarian state ruled by the Kim dynasty for over 70 years. The economy of the DPRK is very weak due to the isolationist policies of the regime, but there is no exact information about the scale of disasters because all statistics are classified.

Here are the 9 most amazing facts about the economy of North Korea:

1. More than 40% of North Koreans are undernourished.

From 2000 to 2018, the number of starving North Koreans increased from 37.5% to 43.4% according to the Global Hunger Index.

But over the same period, the number of starving children under five years has decreased. According to this indicator, the DPRK is not the last country in the world — it ranks 109th out of 199.

In the 1990s, there was a massive famine in the country that claimed up to two million lives, and since then the food situation has remained critical.

Wong Maye-E (Associated Press)

2. In North Korea, there is practically no Internet.

North Korea strictly restricts access to the Internet for citizens. There is one secure Internet server in the country, but less than 1% of citizens have access to the world wide web.

Instead, citizens are offered a state-owned internal network called Kwangmyong. This service is free (for those few who can afford a computer), but gives access only to a limited list of official sites.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the real Internet in North Korea is available only to the political elite and their families, students of elite universities and employees of cybernetic troops.

As Vox writes, Kwangmyong “works through a rudimentary browser that gives access to a carefully selected list of sites that have been copied from this Internet and censored.”

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

3. Mineral reserves in the DPRK are estimated at trillions of dollars.

Probably, North Korea has huge reserves of minerals — by one estimate, by almost $ 10 trillion, and by another — by at least $ 6 trillion.

Supposedly the country has deposits of more than 200 different minerals, including iron, gold, zinc, copper, and graphite. In addition, the DPRK mines many rare metals that are used in the manufacture of smartphones in China and South Korea.

Estimates of reserves are mainly made by South Korean companies; mining in the DPRK is extremely inefficient methods, and private mines, of course, prohibited.


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