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Gas stations operating normally in cities of N. Korea

2017/04/30 10:22

SEOUL, April 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's local gas stations are operating normally despite reports of a sharp rise in the North's oil prices starting in Pyongyang and other cities, Radio Free Asia reported Sunday, citing Japanese news service Asia Press.

Asia Press chief Jiro Ishimaru, who collects information from sources in the North, told the U.S.-based media outlet that there appears to be no major change in gasoline sales in the border provinces of Ryanggang and North Hamgyong.

"Petrol prices appear to be stable and gas stations are not restricting sales. Prices can be different depending on private dealers but the price of gasoline has averaged at 6 yuan per liter and the price of quality one at 6.5 to 7 yuan per liter," Asia Press said, citing a source in Ryanggang Province.

About reports that some gas stations in Pyongyang suspended sales or were closed due to an acute shortage of gasoline, the source responded, "If that's the case, gas stations here should be put under the same situation, but they are operating normally."

  

In this image, captured from the North's Korean Central TV on Jan. 16, 2014, shows an employee filling up a car with gas at a petrol station. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) In this image, captured from the North's Korean Central TV on Jan. 16, 2014, shows an employee filling up a car with gas at a petrol station. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Operations of gas stations in Kimchaek and other cities in North Hamgyong are the same as those in Ryanggang Province, Asia Press told the RFA.

A hike in gasoline prices could have a direct impact on the livelihood of North Korean residents, but there is no increase in fares for private transport systems and disruptions caused by energy prices, the reports said.

Reuters earlier reported that some gas stations in North Korea were restricting sales or appear to have closed. China, the North's largest economic benefactor, is mulling over limiting oil supply to the North as part of efforts to enforce international sanctions aimed at getting Pyongyang to abandon its development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

namsh@yna.co.kr

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