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N Korea at crossroads

Wigs and watches keep North Korea's economy ticking under sanctions

Trade deficit with China hits record high in 2019

North Korean workers at a clothing factory in Pyongyang. Apparel exports have been hit hard by U.N. sanctions.   © Kyodo

SEOUL -- North Korea is boosting exports of clocks, watches, wigs and other goods not barred by U.N. sanctions as a lifeline for its battered economy, though its trade deficit with China still came to a record $2.37 billion in 2019.

North Korean exports to China increased 10.8% to $216 million, while imports jumped 16.8% to $2.59 billion, the Seoul-based Korea International Trade Association said Thursday.

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