|North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un visits Taesong Department Store just before its opening, in this photo released April 8, 2019, by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency. (File photo by= Reuters/ KCNA)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] A researcher at a state-run think tank revealed on Tuesday that . U.N. sanctions on North Korea believed to be pressuring the country, even while Pyongyang tried to evade them.
Kim Seok-jin, a researcher at the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU), noted that the North's illicit activities and other efforts to evade sanctions are "insufficient" to blunt the effects of U.N. sanctions. "The sanctions are not being implemented perfectly but they seem to be serving the basic purpose of pressuring the North Korean authorities by dealing a serious blow to its economy," Kim said. The North's annual exports reached around US$3 billion from 2012 to 2016 but dropped to nearly one-tenth the amount after harsh sanctions were imposed in 2016, the expert said.
Kim added that the North's illegal economic activities, like coal smuggling and financial cyberattacks, estimated to bring in millions of dollars a year, aren’t enough to "compensate for the damage from the sanctions." He projected the North's sources of income to grow when international trade resumes although it will "be difficult to maintain its level of income compared to what it was in the past in the long-term."