North Korea's foreign trade volume decreased by more than 70 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. The U.N.’s continued sanctions on North Korea and the border blockade caused by the COVID-19 have greatly reduced both exports and imports of North Korea.
In a report titled "North Korea's Foreign Trade Trends in 2020" published on July 30, the KOTRA estimated that North Korea's total import and export volume last year was $863 million (about 990 billion won).
It is down 73.4% from 2019. Exports fell 67.9 percent to $89.3 million and imports fell 73.9 percent to $773.67 million from 2019. The size of North Korea's trade was estimated by analyzing the size of trade with the host country and other overseas data at the KOTRA Trade Centers, which are located overseas.
North Korea's dependence on exports and imports on China, its largest trading partner, fell from 95.4 percent in 2019 to 88.2 percent last year, but Russia, the second-largest trading partner, remained at 4.9 percent, showing a strong dependence on China.
Vietnam ranked third with 1.8 percent of North Korea’s trade, and other countries accounted for less than 1 percent.