Cash-stricken North Korea has earned US$100 million over the past year by selling more than 2 tonnes of its gold to China.
According to news agency Chosun, the North Korea's divestment of its holdings of the precious safe haven metal yellow gold to China was facilitated by a mysterious agency known as Room 39 and the People's Armed Forces. Room 39 reportedly manages the money of Kim Jong-un, current supreme leader of North Korea, the son of Kim Jong-il and the grandson of Kim Il-sung.
Cash stricken North Korea has earned US$100 million over the past year by selling more than 2 tonnes of its gold to China.
"They are selling not only gold that was produced since December last year, when Kim Jong-un came to power, but also gold from the country's reserves and bought from its people," Chosun quoted an "informed source in China."
North Korea produces each year about one to two tonnes of gold, according to the news agency. The mines in South and North Pyongan Province as well as in the North Hwanghae Province are estimated to hold 1,000 to 2,000 tonnes of gold deposits.
A Korean businessman based in China said trading companies from North Korea have been selling gold to China, albeit covertly.
"These companies are operated by the military and Workers Party and are collecting gold from the mines and forcefully buying up gold from the people in certain cases," the unidentified Korean businessman told Chosun.
Many North Koreans have been also discovered concealing gold supplies to maintain some safe assets amid runaway inflation.
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