The North Korean government has tried to promote export and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) since the 1990s. Sino-North Korea trade values jumped during the 2000s, and China became North Korea's largest trade partner. China's FDI in North Korea began to increase abruptly since the late 2000s. The mining sector led China's investment in and import from North Korea. Although China has dominated any other country in FDI inflows and international trade with North Korea, the former's contribution to the economic development of the latter has not been so substantial in the light of the composition of international trade and FDI inflows. To materialise the potential of Sino-North Korea trade and Chinese firms' investment in North Korea further, it is essential to improve North Korea's diplomatic relationship with China. In addition, the North Korean government needs to pay attention to upgrading the structure and composition of bilateral trade and FDI inflows from China.