North Korea has exported a large amount of gold to China in recent months, a move that suggests that the Stalinist state may be facing the most serious economic crisis since its foundation, Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the matter. The crisis must be deep as the regime had resorted to a distress sale despite the country’s founder Kim Il-sung saying in his will that the country should by no means export gold, the report said. Another source was quoted as saying that the North Korean economy has been getting worse since Chang Song-thaek, the country’s top official in charge of economic reform, was arrested. According to data with the South Korean government, North Korea currently has about 2,000 metric tons of gold reserves worth at least US$8 billion, the report said.
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