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N. Korea to conduct first national census in 15 years

By RIA Novosti

Moscow : North Korea will conduct its first population census in 15 years this October with help from the UN, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.

No complete census has taken place in North Korea since 1994 when the United National Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) helped the reclusive state conduct a national census. Pyongyang announced after the survey that its population was 21.21 million as of 1993.

The agency said the project will cost around $5.6 million, of which South Korea will provide $4 million with the remaining funds coming from the UNFPA’s own fund and donations from other countries.

“South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Dec. 11 to finance part of the cost of the national census in North Korea,” the Unification Ministry said in a statement.

According to an almanac released Sunday by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s population increased gradually to 23.6 million in 2004 despite the chronic economic plight of the isolated communist state.

The World Factbook released by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency last year put the North Korean population at 22.6 million in 2004.