North Korean workers assemble jackets at a factory of a South Korean-owned company at the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Complex, in Kaesong.
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The closure of a factory park in North Korea jointly run by both Koreas has cost the impoverished North a rare source of legitimate hard currency.The bank has been publishing estimates of North Korea's economy since 1991 . In its latest report, it said it believes the North's economy grew by 1 percent in 2014 to 33.95 trillion South Korean won, or $28.5 billion, or about 2 percent of South Korea's economy.Transactions with China accounted for more than 74 percent of North Korea's trade in 2014, and more than 90 percent when excluding trade related to the Kaesong park, according to Statistics Korea, Seoul's official statistics agency, which analyzed the central bank data and information from trade organizations.While the South Korean companies pay the North in U.S. dollars, their North Korean employees receive wages in North Korean won based on an exchange rate dictated by the North's government.Marzuki Darusman, a U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, said in a report last year that more than 50,000 North Koreans are working overseas and earning the country something between $1.2 billion and $2.3 billion annually in foreign currency.The U.S. State Department has long warned against travel to North Korea.
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