Trade volume between China and North Korea exceeded US$1 billion last year, up from US$738 million in 2002, according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). Pyongyang's trade deficit with Beijing in 2003 increased to US$232 million from US$196 million the previous year, KITA added.
China imported US$395 million worth of goods from North Korea in 2003, primarily consisting of seafood, clothing and steel. North Korea imported US$627 million in goods from China, US$187 million of it in fuel. Fuel imports from China rose by 50 percent year-on-year, spurred by US suspension of heavy oil shipments stemming from North Korea's nuclear weapons program.