The top export items in terms of value were:
- Processed hair and wool used in wigs (worth about $11.6 million)
- Diammonium hydrogen phosphate, a widely used fertilizer (worth $8.84 million)
- Rice (worth $5.07 million)
In January-April, Chinese exports to North Korea leapt to $603 million from $270.59 million a year earlier.
North Korea has long suffered from food insecurity. South Korea's DongA Ilbo newspaper reported in mid-February that Pyongyang's food crisis may have deteriorated.
The country has been under U.N. sanctions for its missile and nuclear programs since 2006.
The increase in Chinese exports to North Korea in April is likely due to a number of factors, including the country's food insecurity and the easing of some U.N. sanctions. However, the increase in exports could also be seen as a sign that China is willing to help North Korea circumvent the sanctions. This could have implications for the region and the global security situation.