Since the 1980s, the strength of the textile industry in North Korea attracted trading partners like Germany, and Japan, on top of the Soviet Union. In the 1990s, the collapse of the Soviet Union and economic sanctions led to a reduction of exports volume, and China became its largest trade partner.

Today, it comes as little surprise that China continues to be North Korea’s biggest trading partner under the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid Cooperation Friendship Treaty as pressure to abide by sanctions against North Korea heightens. In 2015, the share of Chinese imports to North Korea was 85 percent, the share of exports China took from North Korea stood at 83 percent 19.

In 2017, North Korea’s main exports were textiles (coats and suits worth US$434 million), coal briquettes (worth US$368 million) and molluscs worth US$138 million. To diversify, the textile industry began to produce synthetic fabrics, plastic coated textiles, and netting. In 2019, North Korea is the 10th global exporter of fake hair, and its exports make up 10% ($3.1 million) of the export industry 20.

Diagrams like this demonstrate the resilience of the country’s foreign trade activity in spite of difficulties, and reflect the Juche ideology of self-reliance seeded during the revolutionary beginnings of Vinalon.

自80年代,朝鲜纺织业的实力吸引苏联,以及德国、日本等贸易伙伴。 90年代以来,苏联解体和经济制裁导致出口量减少,中国成为了其最大的贸易伙伴。

如今,随着各国对朝鲜的制裁规模越来越大,中国仍然是朝鲜最大的贸易伙伴。 2015年,中国对朝鲜的进口份额为85%,中国从朝鲜出口的份额则为83% 19

2017年,朝鲜的主要出口产品是纺织品(出口外套和西装,总值4.34亿美元)、煤碳(价值3.68亿美元)和价值1.38亿美元的动物产品。 纺织工业为了多样化而开始生产合成织物、塑料涂层纺织品以及网状材料。 2019年,朝鲜成为全球第10大假发出口国,其出口额占出口行业的10%(价值310万美元)20