Two-way inter-Korean trade totaled $642 million last year, up 59.3 percent from 2001. South Korea imported $271.6 million worth of goods from North Korea, a 54.2 percent rise year on year, while goods valued at $370 million were shipped to the North, a jump of 63.2 percent.
Major items brought in were agricultural-forestry-fishery goods, textiles, iron-steel and metal products and miscellaneous goods. Northbound shipments included chemical-industrial goods, textiles and agricultural-forestry-fishery goods.
The South posted a $98.6 million surplus in nominal trade, while the North registered a $197 million surplus, when non-trade transactions are excluded. Non-trade items included goods provided to the North under inter-Korean cooperative projects and humanitarian assistance.
Of the total $642 million in two-way trade, commercial transactions and trade based on processing-on-commission arrangements amounted to $343 million, accounting for 50.1 percent of the total. The rest ($299 million) was of a non-trade nature such as inter-Korean cooperative projects and humanitarian assistance.
A total of 432 companies, including 108 involved in processing-on-commission arrangements, participated in the two-way trade of 568 items.
Inter-Korean trade in December 2002 came to $74 million, down 41.5 percent from November.
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Goods carried between Koreas by sea up 70% in 2002
Ministry of Unification
Shipping operations between South and North Korea totaled 1,827 on a one-way basis last year, up 8.4 percent from the previous year, and the quantity of goods transported amounted to 1.1 million tons, a surge of 70.2 percent from 2001.
The shipping includes ferry services operated by Hyundai Asan's Mt. Geumgang tour numbering 362 between Sokcho and Goseong on the East coast, 84 run by Trade Fortune between Incheon and Nampo on the West coast for carrying electronics goods, tobacco and clothes manufactured under the processing-on-commission trade agreement and 100 for transportation of personnel and materials needed for the construction of light-water reactors being built by kEDO in the North.
The number of northbound shipping, largely made up of agricultural goods, chemicals, textiles and machinery, came to 798 and that of southbound shipping of agricultural-forestry goods, iron, steel and metal goods and textiles totaled 1,029.
A jump of 70.2 percent in goods transported between the two Koreas was attributed to a general increase in the inter-Korean trade as well as in grain assistance on a humanitarian basis and materials and equipment for linking railways and roads between the two Koreas.
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