North Korea has mastered the art of surviving through economic sanctions, and a situation has come when they are no longer bothered on this issue. They have worked out ways and means to augment their economy in spite of sanctions imposed on it by various agencies. Their concentration is on the development of its nuclear arsenal and in between, they threaten to launch an attack on the United States to watch the reactions.

North Korea is not bothered about sanctions

According to New York Times, the main sources of the economy of North Korea are an export of coal to China, its main ally, apart from its cheap labor that are employed in other countries.

While the export of coal is a straightforward case, the earnings from its work force are reported to be a huge chunk of its economy.

The earnings from coal runs into billions and from laborers who work overseas, the figure adds up to several millions annually. This earning comes from the money that the laborers are required to remit back to the country. Moreover, the country makes money by selling its rights to harvest seafood from its waters.

Yet another option open to North Korea is the business conducted in the regions that share the border with China. Here again, the cheap labor is exploited for financial gains. There are factories that employ the local cheap labor who use sophisticated machines to stitch apparel that carry labels of “Made in China.” The transactions in this garment industry are believed to be in dollars, in cash.

This venture is also a lucrative one and has brought in more millions to offset losses due to sanctions.

How to checkmate North Korea?

In the space of a little over a decade, the United Nations has slapped seven rounds of sanctions on North Korea that include cash transfers of large amounts. However, all the avenues are not blocked, and the country is always on the lookout for loopholes and capitalizes on them to finance its nuclear programs.

The economy of North Korea is dependent on China which is its main ally, and the Trump administration is working out strategies to woo it over to its side.

Donald Trump discussed the matter with Xi Jinping when the two met in Florida, and there were expectations that China could take actions that would tilt the scales in favor of the United States.

The Chinese government did take a step in that direction by putting a temporary hold on import of coal from North Korea. However, there is a question on how far China will be able to curtail the nuclear ambitions of Pyongyang. Its apprehension is that, in case of a collapse of the regime, it would be faced with an influx of refugees which would not be a desirable situation. In the opinion of China, imposing sanctions is not the solution, and the new president of South Korea appears to be in agreement with such a line of thinking.