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>> A resilient showing for North Korea's economy, despite waves of international sanctions. Data released by the South Korean Central Bank on Friday says, GDP hit a 17 year high last year. Growth figures for the North are estimated because Pyongyang doesn't post official data, leaving South Korean intelligence to gather information and come up with a number, which has come in at nearly 4%.
Manufacturing, mining and energy appear to have led expansion in 2016. Fueling an economy that seems to be surviving in the face of punishing trade restrictions aimed at cutting off Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons program. The data also shows that shutting down the Kaesong Joint Industrial Complex, at the border with South Korea, last year did little economic damage to the North.
Even though it was an attempt to hurt Pyongyang after at launch to long range rocket. North Korea maybe on a positive growth track but it's GDP for 2016 only adds up to 2% with South Korea recorded in the same period. It's also unclear how China's ban on coal imports from Pyongyang will affect the North's economy moving forward.
A UN report on Thursday said the North is also facing severe famine to the one of its worst droughts in decades.