Inter-Korean trade posts record high in 1H

16:37, August 12, 2010      

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Inter-Korean trade hit a record high in the first half of this year despite mounting tensions on the peninsula following the fatal sinking of a South Korean warship in March, a government report said Thursday.

Two-way trading volume rose 52.4 percent year-on-year to 983.23 million U.S. dollars in the first half of the year, according to the report by the Korea Customs Service. It surpasses the previous high of 884.79 million dollars during same period in 2008.

Outbound shipments soared 66 percent year-on-year to 430.48 million dollars while inbound shipments from the DPRK surged 44 percent year-on-year to 552.75 million dollars, posting a trade deficit of 122.27 million dollars, the report said.

The report, however, said that inter-Korean trade is expected to shrink about 30 percent year-on-year in the second half of the year should the South Korean government continue its economic sanctions against the DPRK in retaliation for the warship case.

Seoul suspended all trade and investment with the DPRK after a multinational investigation team concluded in May that the warship went down due to a torpedo attack from the DPRK, killing 46 South Korean sailors. The DPRK denies its involvement.

However, it decided not to shut down the Kaesong joint industrial complex, which accounts for near 70 percent of total trade between the two countries.

Inter-Korean trade, which stood at 328.65 million dollars in 1999, has seen continuous growth with breaking the billion dollar mark for the first time in 2005.



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