February 25, 2024
Analysis

North Korean steel production slumps, hindering economy, military

Number of factors keep North's steel production from operating at or near full potential

North Korea’s steel industry has for at least 10 years remained stagnant compared with other steelmaking nations in Northeast Asia and operated well below its capacity, according to statistics and industry watchers.

The estimated production within North Korea of crude (liquid) steel – the benchmark by which steelmakers and countries measure their total steel output – has witnessed a gradual downward decline and amounted to 1.25 million tons in 2013, compared with 1.4 million in 2004, the World Steel Association (or worldsteel) stated in its 2014 yearbook.