In late November 2009, North Korea redenominated its currency at a rate of 100 to 1
. New laws were implemented, including regulations on consumption, tightened state control of the market, and a ban on the possession or use of foreign currencies
. The redenomination appears to have resulted in increased inflation and confiscation of operational capital and savings
earned by private traders and others working outside state-controlled sectors of the economy.
North Korean industry is operating at only a small fraction of capacity due to lack of fuel, spare parts, and other inputs
. Agriculture was 20.9% of GDP as of 2009, although agricultural output has not recovered to early 1990 levels. The infrastructure is generally poor and outdated, and the energy sector has collapsed.
North Korea experienced a severe famine
following record floods in the summer of 1995 and continues to suffer from chronic food shortages and malnutrition
. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) provided substantial emergency food assistance beginning in 1995 (two million tons of which came from the United States), but the North Korean Government suspended the WFP emergency program
at the end of 2005 and permitted only a greatly reduced WFP program through a protracted relief and recovery operation. In April 2011, the WFP announced that it was launching an emergency operation to feed 3.5 million vulnerable North Koreans.