Finland & North Korea: Trade, Visitors and Nuclear Test Reactions

Finnish Government condemns North Korea nuclear tests, but thinks international pressure could bring a resolution to the crisis.

Map showing North Korea / Credit: Google Maps

The Finnish government has strongly condemned the latest nuclear tests carried out by North Korea.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Timo Soini described Sunday’s underground blast as a “very dangerous and irresponsible act that will further aggravate the situation”.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä told journalists that he believes “the intense pressure of the international community is capable of solving the situation”.

The North Korea hydrogen bomb blast was also detected in Finland, where the Institute of Seismology at the University of Helsinki works as part of the international system monitoring observance of the nuclear test ban.

Meanwhile Donald Trump says the USA could slap sanctions on any country that trades with the Pyong Yang regime. So could Finland be affected? According to Finnish Customs, trade between the two countries virtually non-existent.

In the months from January to June 2017, there was no trade at all. For the whole of last year, Finland’s imports from North Korea amounted to €4245; while Finnish exports to North Korea were just €1534.

About 90% of North Korea’s exports go to China.

Kimmo Lähdevirta, Director General at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs covers North Korea. He tells News Now Finland that there are some people-to-people links. “There have been some tourists going there, but then we have also had some aid personnel from civic society organisations who run projects there”.

North Korea has an embassy in Stockholm, which handles relations with Finland as well.