Marine Exports On the Rise

Oh Se Hyek  |  2013-11-26 13:15
North Korea is increasing its exports of marine products to the Yanbian region of China, Daily NK has learned.

A Chinese trader based in Yanbian province told Daily NK on the 25th that enterprises affiliated with military and party organizations are engaging in this kind of trade in order to bring in much-needed foreign currency.

The trader, an ethnic Korean who requested anonymity, revealed that, “Recently exports of seafood products out of North Korea have skyrocketed. It used to be around one ton a month, now it’s three tons.”

“Demand for North Korean marine products is steadily rising in China’s restaurants. If restaurant owners set the right price it’s easy for these products to sell.” he added.

According to the trader, one kilogram of high-grade North Korean horsehair crabs can fetch 200 Yuan. One kilo of shellfish sells for around 10 Yuan, scallops at 28 Yuan and worm shells at nine Yuan.

“People are travelling into North Korea directly in order to bring these products into China. However, while demand is certainly high in China, the main reason for the increase is that North Korea is actively pushing these products,” the trader went on.

Some defectors have stated that marine products are one of North Korea’s prime foreign currency earners. with their export overseen by powerful national agencies. It is thought that money earned through this particular activity is funneled through "Room 39," believed to be Kim Jong Eun’s foreign currency slush fund.

Another source, a former North Korean cadre once involved in Sino-Korean trade, revealed that, “It is difficult to obtain permission to trade directly with China unless affiliated with Room 39 or the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces. As a result, general agencies and enterprises struggle to deal in marine products with China.”
 
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2014.04.21
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