Are the oil curbs on North Korea starting to bite at the pump? Photo: Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

A South Korean unification ministry official says gas prices in North Korea have tripled since the imposition of sanctions in August and September.

The ministry told reporters on Tuesday that UN Security Council sanctions Resolution 2375, adopted September 11, is squeezing North Korea, but not cutting off the food supply.

“Following the passage of Resolution 2375, the price of rice, the exchange rate, are relatively stable, but oil prices are rising,” a unification ministry official said, according to South Korean news services Newsis and Yonhap, in a story picked up by UPI.

The ministry official said the price of crude oil products began rising as early as mid-August.

The Security Council also passed Sanctions 2371 on August 5, and soon after the “price of gasoline tripled,” owing to a supply reduction and a response to market expectations.

Before prices increased a kilogram of gasoline cost about 2,000 North Korean won (US$1.76). Recent prices have hovered at about 7,000 won (US$6.15), according to the Seoul official. A kilogram is about a fourth-gallon.

In late 2016, the exchange rate was about 8,000 North Korean won to the US dollar.

Moon: Pyongyang can still come to table

In related news, Yonhap also reported that South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea to come to the dialogue table Tuesday, saying the communist state still had a chance for a peaceful end to its nuclear ambition.

“As I have stressed numerous times, the door to dialogue and negotiations is always open if North Korea stops making reckless choices,” the president said in a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of an inter-Korean declaration.