North Korea Economic Sectors

ECONOMY: AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND FISHING

Given the prevailing mountainousness of the country, the arable land occupies about a quarter of the territorial surface; the forms of management remain outdated and businesses lacking adequate equipment. To this scenario must be added the aforementioned cyclical occurrence of floods and consequent famines (1990s of the twentieth century and July 2006): these conditions do not allow us to glimpse many glimmers for a brighter future, despite the primary sector benefits from greater openings, in terms of autonomy on the part of the government, in operating private commercial exchanges (farmers can in fact sell quantities of products in excess of their needs). As in South Korea, but to a lesser extent due to climatic differences, the most important agricultural product is rice, followed by various cereals typical of the continental areas, such as maize, millet, wheat, barley, wheat, oats and sorghum. Potatoes, soybeans and, among industrial plants, cotton and tobacco are also prominent. Forests, subject to an intense reforestation program, cover about half of the total area but are not much exploited, especially due to the scarcity of communications; there floating on the Yalu and the Tumen constitutes the most widespread transport system for logs. Breeding (cattle, pigs, poultry) is of little importance, while fishing is of greater importance, which has its major port and fish product conservation centers in Namp’o, Ch’ŏngjin and Wŏnsan. In the primary sector, almost 26% are employed overall. of the workforce.

ECONOMY: INDUSTRY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

The industry, together with the service sector, employs just over 74% of the active population; given the difficulty of transport, factories have arisen mainly in the vicinity of the mining areas. There are three main industrialization centers: one gravitating towards Pyongyang, one in the northwestern area (Sinŭiju, Ganggye, etc.) and the third in the eastern part of the country (Ch’ŏngjin, Heungnam etc.). The steel and mechanical sectors have a particular development, which now supplies machinery of all kinds, albeit with production essentially at the service of agriculture; depending on the agricultural sector there are also large chemical complexes, especially in the field of fertilizers. The textile industry has been radically restructured and mechanized, which mainly processes cotton, silk and artificial fibers and whose overall production is now almost sufficient for internal needs. The numerous copper, zinc and lead metallurgical plants, paper mills and cement factories are still worth mentioning; finally, Kaesŏng porcelains enjoy international fame. A sector that has seen a moderate development is that of armaments (light weapons, land vehicles, ships, airplanes, missiles), with the objective of satisfying internal needs and increasing exports. There are considerable mineral resources, especially coal and lignite; next in importance are iron and magnesite, of which North Korea has the largest known deposits; Furthermore, significant quantities of copper, zinc, tungsten, silver and lead, molybdenum, phosphates, graphite, sulfur etc. are extracted. The energy sector is also well represented with over 21 million kW produced, of which more than half of water origin. Ultimately, the situation of the entire industrial sector undoubtedly indicates the persistent need for even greater diversification, especially in the direction of light production and consumer goods.

ECONOMY: TRADE AND COMMUNICATIONS

As far as internal commercial activities are concerned, this area is also almost entirely the prerogative of the State and cooperatives, and it is the authorities that determine the prices of products, decree loans and control financial activities (in this sense there is no dedicated market). It must be said that the number of businesses and businesses has increased since the end of the twentieth century. In the past, foreign trade took place mainly with socialist countries, but Japan has now assumed a leading role, flanked by China, both in terms of trade and financing. An opening towards the West and towards integration into the world economy was felt, although there are still many difficulties in establishing international economic and commercial relations: from the low quality of the products to the precarious development of infrastructures and communication networks. These deficits, which also contribute to keeping the capital of potential foreign investors at a distance, therefore remain, in addition to the two Far Eastern powers, South Korea, Russia and Thailand. In particular, the signing of some agreements with South Korean companies is allowing the development of South Korea, Russia and Thailand. In particular, the signing of some agreements with South Korean companies is allowing the development of South Korea, Russia and Thailand. In particular, the signing of some agreements with South Korean companies is allowing the development of joint-ventures and essential supplies for the country, despite the trade balance remain in heavy liabilities.

According to softwareleverage, North Korea mainly exports minerals (magnesite, iron, zinc, etc.) and products from the metallurgical industry, while the main imports concern petroleum products, equipment and industrial plants. In North Korea, as in South Korea, the roads and railways were almost entirely destroyed during the civil war. A prominent role is played by the railway system, whose extension is over 5200 km and which is connected to the Chinese and Russian networks; the main lines are the Kaesŏng-Pyongyang-Sinŭiju and the Pyongyang-Ch’ŏngjin, with many branches built to connect the mining regions of the interior. The roads, on the other hand, are inadequate to support the growing traffic: of the total 26,180 km (2018 estimate), in fact, only a little less than 800 are asphalted; moreover, motorization is not particularly encouraged by the government, also in order not to increase oil imports, just as both domestic and international air services are rather lacking, although the country’s airports are 77; Pyongyang is connected with weekly flights to Beijing and Moscow. A discrete movement of goods and passengers takes place by river, especially on the Yalu and Daedong rivers; finally, the ports are well equipped, especially those of Ch’ŏngjin and Heungnam, serving the eastern mining regions, and of although the country’s airports are 77; Pyongyang is connected with weekly flights to Beijing and Moscow. A discrete movement of goods and passengers takes place by river, especially on the Yalu and Daedong rivers; finally, the ports are well equipped, especially those of Ch’ŏngjin and Heungnam, serving the eastern mining regions, and of although the country’s airports are 77; Pyongyang is connected with weekly flights to Beijing and Moscow. A discrete movement of goods and passengers takes place by river, especially on the Yalu and Daedong rivers; finally, the ports are well equipped, especially those of Ch’ŏngjin and Heungnam, serving the eastern mining regions, and of Namp’o, outlet of the capital.

North Korea Economic Sectors