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North Korea Dependency on China Grows as Isolation Bites

North Korea’s dependence on China deepened last year as exports of coal and other minerals to its main ally jumped and global sanctions left Kim Jong Il’s regime increasingly isolated.

China accounted for 83 percent of North Korea’s $4.2 billion of international commerce in 2010, the Seoul-based Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said today in an e-mailed statement. China made up 79 percent of trade in 2009, and 53 percent in 2005, according to the statement.