A fuel ration system in North Korea seems to have been dismantled due to a chronic fuel shortage, a report said Monday.
The report by the state-run Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI) said a majority of households in North Korea secure their fuel for heating and cooking on the black market or by themselves, hinting that the country's fuel ration system might have been scrapped.
The report was made on the basis of data compiled from a poll of 350 North Korean defectors who fled the country after 2011.
According to the report, 51.1 percent of the North's households bought their heating and cooking fuel on the market, with 42 percent gathering their fuel, such as firewood, by themselves.
Only 6.8 percent of them were provided with fuel for heating and cooking through the country's fuel ration channel.
The energy consumption of a North Korean household was estimated at 0.291 tons of oil equivalent (TOE) as of 2011. The TOE is a unit of energy which is equivalent to the amount of energy released by burning one ton of crude oil.
The consumption of energy gaining from coal briquettes accounted for 36.8 percent of the total, reaching 0.107 TOE, followed by wood with 0.069 TOE, electricity with 0.038 TOE, oil products with 0.025 TOE and propane gas with 0.023 TOE.
The energy consumption for heating took up 50.9 percent of the total, amounting to 0.148 TOE.
The KEEI said a program for fuel aid to North Korea should be mapped out on the basis of exact data on the energy consumption in the North's private sector. (Yonhap News)