North Korea is seeking to increase exports to the US and to Asia, and its leader has told his aides to boost their output from the country’s coal mines, according to reports.
North Korea’s state-run news agency said Kim Jong-un told the top managers of state-owned companies, according the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, on Monday that he would “promote the development of our domestic economy through increased exports to other countries” and “raise exports from US coal mines to the North’s export market”.
He also urged “a high level of production” and a “surging export of domestic goods to other areas of the world”.
It was not immediately clear what North Korea plans to do with the surplus fuel it is exporting to the USA and other countries.
US President Donald Trump’s administration has been trying to cut its trade deficit with North Korea by increasing sanctions and other measures.
It is not the first time that North Korea has sought to boost its exports to countries in Asia, where its economy relies on a reliance on coal mining.
It has also been increasing exports to China, the world’s second largest economy, as well as Europe.
In August, the North Korean government released a report detailing its coal production, and revealed that its coal exports have tripled since it took over from the Soviet Union in the late 1990s.
North Korea produces between 80 and 120 million tonnes of coal a year, or about 8.3 million metric tonnes, the report said.