N. Korea looking to import meat from Mongolia

North Korea is looking to expand its food trading partners by importing meat from Mongolia, according to local media reports.
A North Korean adviser to the Ambassador met with Mongolia’s Head of General Agency for Specialized Inspection Sh. Radnaased to discuss the issue this week.
“I am pleased that DPRK expresses interest in meat import and cooperation with us, and we are willing to provide necessary assistance such as supplying an information related to the veterinary quarantine and hygiene,” Radnaased said in comments carried by mongolia.gogo.
North Korea still struggles with food security, with its agriculture sector unable to produce sufficient protein, according to a 2013 report UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Recent NK News analysis on Chinese data also showed that North Korea is importing less food from its neighbor this year.
“Recently, when North Korea import products, commercial products including TVs are becoming more important. The importance of food including cereals is decreasing compared to before,” Choi Yongho, research fellow at the Korea Rural Economic Institute told NK News.
“In addition, I suppose as the standard of living increases, the demand of meat … also gets higher,” he added.
The news comes as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe brought up North Korea during his second state visit to Mongolia during his tenure.
During his trip Abe asked Mongolia to help with solving the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea.
According to the NK News‘ KCNA Watch data tool, North Korea and Mongolia exchanged numerous delegations over the past year and signed a memorandum of understanding in April.
Despite the increasing interactions, the ITC Trade Map shows limited trade between the two countries. The majority of North Korean exports to Mongolia throughout 2014 appear to be unspecified pharmaceutical products.
The two countries are also looking to cooperate on Mongolian coal exports, using North Korea’s Rason port.  Mongolia has a thriving coal industry, but its lack of coastline and undeveloped rail infrastructure limit its export options.
Additional reporting by Hyunbi Park



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