The value of North Korea's untapped minerals would be enough to pay every one of Earth's seven billion people more than $1000.
Scratching the surface of the secluded nation reveals vast deposits of more than 200 minerals including magnesite, zinc, copper, limestone, molybdenum, iron and gold worth more than $7 trillion, Quartz reports.
Despite the vast swathes of riches buried beneath the nation's bedrock, taking advantage of them has become difficult.
A lack of mining equipment and machinery has made it almost impossible for North Korea to extract some of the rarer minerals and sanctions have made it illegal for some private enterprises to establish drilling sites in the country.
Despite the limitation, it has not stopped the country from extracting some of its vast supply of minerals with mining reportedly making up 14 percent of the economy.
Once the minerals are out of the ground North Korea still has to offload them to potential buyers which are another hurdle.
The UN began imposing sanctions on North Korea after its first nuclear test in 2006 which has been tightened over the years.
In March 2016 North Korea was banned from exporting gold, vanadium, titanium and in November that year, the ban was extended to cover nickel, copper, zinc, and silver while also capping its coal exports.
On August 11, 2016, a North Korean ship was intercepted by Egyptian authorities bound for the Suez Canal. On-board they who found 30,000 rocket grenades buried beneath more than two million kilograms of iron ore.