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Seoul: NKorea in worst economic contraction in 2 decades

Posted at 11:35 PM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 02:35:01-04

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says North Korea has suffered its worst economic contraction in more than 20 years due to international sanctions and bad weather. The Seoul-based Bank of Korea said Friday that North Korea’s economy shrank 4.1% last year from a year earlier. A bank statement said it’s the North’s second straight year of contraction and the worst performance since 1997, when the economy was estimated to have shrunk 6.5% in 1997.

The bank says its estimates are based on information provided by various South Korean government agencies.

U.N. sanctions on North Korea were toughened after North Korea conducted high-profile nuclear and missile tests in recent years. Experts say bad weather conditions like a prolonged drought and a heat wave last year have devastated the North’s farm sector.