North Korean gasoline and diesel prices have been rising recently, Daily NK has learned. 

According to a Daily NK source in North Korea last Thursday, the price of one kilogram of gasoline in Pyongyang had climbed from KPW 6,200 in early October to KPW 8,000 as of Wednesday, an increase of 29%. The price of diesel climbed 37%, rising from KPW 4,100 to KPW 5,600.

Petroleum prices are climbing in Hyesan on the Sino-North Korean border, too. Gasoline and diesel were selling for KPW 9,000 and KPW 6,000, respectively – an increase of 29% and 25% compared to Aug. 2.

Gasoline and diesel prices fell in February and early March, when oil was imported from China, but they started climbing again. Gasoline and diesel prices in Pyongyang hit nearly KPW 13,000 and KPW 10,000, respectively, in early June.

View into North Korea from across the Tumen River in China’s Jilin Province. Image: Daily NK

Daily NK previously reported that the subsequent fall in prices (KPW 7,000 for gasoline, KPW 4,000 for diesel in Pyongyang) was due to imports of refined oil from China to mark the 60th anniversary of the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty.

Afterwards, the price of oil fell in Pyongyang and cities in the country’s provinces such as Hyesan.

With prices once again rising, locals speculate that North Korea has exhausted the oil imported from China.

“Because the oil isn’t being continuously imported, gasoline and diesel prices are once again rising,” the source said. 

“Due to the prolonged closure of the border, it will be difficult for oil and other imported items to maintain stable prices,” he continued, adding, “It appears prices will continue to rise and fall like this until the border closure is lifted.”

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