c-mine2-RTX109LG-Reuters Staff

North Korea has up to $10 trillion of wealth in minerals trapped underground

$10 trillion

Up to $10 trillion worth of mineral resources could be buried in North Korean soil.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Staff
c-mine2-RTX109LG-Reuters Staff
$10 trillion

The country has reserves of iron, gold, zinc, and copper, among others. It also has rare earth metals, essential in manufacturing electronic products.

c-mine2-RTX109LG-Reuters Staff
$10 trillion

Though mining there increased for decades, it started to decline in the 1990s. Now, much of that wealth is trapped underground due in part to lack of expertise.

c-mine2-RTX109LG-Reuters Staff
$10 trillion

Though it continues to mine, North Korea lacks the infrastructure, knowledge, and technology to extract much of those minerals.

c-mine-RTX109LN-Reuters Staff

Reuters/Staff

c-mine2-RTX109LG-Reuters Staff
$10 trillion

And what it manages to get out of the soil (like coal, which is easier to mine), ends up locked inside the country, one of the most isolated in the world.

c-mine2-RTX109LG-Reuters Staff
$10 trillion

North Korea is the target of sanctions due to its nuclear program. And even China, its biggest trade partner, stopped coal imports earlier this year.

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