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South-North economic gap widens further

By Chung Joo-won
North Korea’s gross national income reached 34.2 trillion won ($29.8 billion) last year, about 2.3 percent of that of South Korea, data showed Friday.
According to the Bank of Korea’s report on the North Korean economic growth in 2014, the communist nation’s nominal GNI per capita stood at 1.39 million won, meaning an average North Korean individual produces approximately 4.7 percent of what the average South Korean does.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s trade volume in 2014 amounted to $7.61 billion, up $0.27 billion from the $7.34 billion in 2013.
In addition, BOK’s report showed that North Korea’s gross domestic product grew 1 percent in 2014, down from 1.1 percent a year ago, largely due to growth in construction and services. The construction and service sectors took up about 8.2 percent and 31.3 percent of all industries.
The services sector increased by 1.3 percent, up 0.3 percent in 2013, on increased production of wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and accommodation, transportation and communication and government services.
Construction grew 1.4 percent after shrinking 1.0 percent in 2013, driven mainly by growth in building construction, while civil engineering such as construction of roads and electric power plants declined.
Yet the electricity, gas and water production plunged 2.8 percent after 2.3 percent growth in 2013, owing to a drop in generation of electricity centering around hydroelectric power generation, despite increased supply of gas, steam and air conditioning.