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N. Korea-Russia trade dips 22 percent through Aug.

Bilateral trade between Russia and North Korea plunged 22 percent in the first eight months of the year from a year earlier due to toughened international sanctions levied on the communist state following a series of its nuclear and missile tests, a report said Saturday.

The trade volume between the two countries reached US$43 million in the January-August period, compared with $56 million a year earlier, the Voice of America reported, citing data from Russia’s customs agency.

Russia shipped mineral resources such as coal worth $31 million to the North during the cited period, followed by flour worth $3 million. The North exported $28 million worth of fishery products to Russia, with natural resources such as coal and iron ores not shipped, according to the report.

The U.N. sanctions, adopted earlier this year in response to the North’s fourth nuclear test in January, prohibits North Korea’s exports of coal, iron and iron ore, as part of efforts to cut off sources of revenue that could be used for its nuclear and missile programs.

Still, however, exports for “livelihood purposes” are allowed, a big loophole cited by many experts in what has been billed as the toughest sanctions ever imposed on Pyongyang. (Yonhap)

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