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North Korea Table of Contents

North Korea

Development in Major Sectors

Growth in total industrial output was accompanied by changes in the composition of industry, but large gaps and inconsistencies in official statistics made it impossible to assess specific changes accurately. In 1965, the last year for which data were available for several sectors, the machine building and metal processing sector--the "engineering sector"-- accounted for the largest share of total industrial production-- 29 percent. This figure was a dramatic change from 1946, when the share of this sector was only 5.1 percent. Machinery building was regarded as the key to industrialization. The next largest shares in total industrial production in 1965 were 17.2 percent for textiles and 9.1 percent for the food processing and luxury goods industries (see table 4, Appendix). The share of the machinery manufacturing industry increased further to 33.7 percent of gross industrial output in 1980. Although the production of consumer goods was given more emphasis in the 1970s and 1980s, most economic resources continue to be devoted to the production of minerals, metals, and heavy machinery. In fact, most industry is located around the major mining and machinery manufacturing centers that form the focal points of the transportation and communications networks. At the start of the 1990s, the country had a variety of relatively well developed industries, and in per capita production of some industrial items was comparable to those of many middle-income countries.

Data as of June 1993