US Korea Institute

Saturday June 25th 2016
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Evil geniuses, stumbling fools, or something in between, we will attempt to divine the real motives behind Pyongyang’s foreign policy moves.

North Korea’s Military Partnerships Under Threat?

North Korea’s Military Partnerships Under Threat?

The latest UN sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have locked the two Koreas in a war for influence on far-flung battlegrounds, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America. Seoul, however, could inadvertently minimize any future gains in the fight without careful reflection on its results to date. South Korean [...]

Listening to Korea’s Liberals

Listening to Korea’s Liberals

The resounding defeat handed to South Korea’s ruling conservative party in last week’s legislative elections had, on the surface, little to do with North Korea. Domestic issues dominated the campaign, and the vote reflected a so-called South-South struggle that not only pit liberals against conservatives, but also split the liberals into two [...]

The 2016 UN Panel of Experts Report: An Eye-Opening Account of Persistent Blindness 

The 2016 UN Panel of Experts Report: An Eye-Opening Account of Persistent Blindness 

The UN Panel of Experts Established Pursuant to Resolution 1874 has been monitoring and reporting on violations of the North Korea sanctions regime since 2009, providing North Korea specialists with rare and valuable insight into the country’s illicit activities and sanctions evasion practices. The Panel’s reports have become more detailed [...]

Hiding in Plain Sight: Cowboys, Conmen and North Korea’s $6 Trillion Natural Resource Prize

Hiding in Plain Sight: Cowboys, Conmen and North Korea’s $6 Trillion Natural Resource Prize

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Kevin Leech became a billionaire through a series of investments in pharmaceutical and technology companies after selling his family’s 38 funeral parlors across England. After losing everything when his company, an internet incubator named Ci4net.com collapsed, Leech emerged from bankruptcy in 2005 and engineered a series of [...]

The Real Economics of Kaesong

The Real Economics of Kaesong

The February debate on 38 North between Ruediger Frank and William Brown highlighted opposing views about the Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ), and it most likely helped readers to better understand the ins and outs of the KIZ. (Photo: Getty Images) Nonetheless, their debate missed some important aspects of the KIZ, and included arguments [...]

The Art of Sanctions: Can North Korea Navigate Expanded Measures?

The Art of Sanctions: Can North Korea Navigate Expanded Measures?

Over the coming months, North Korean diplomats and businesspeople will work with their counterparts abroad to test and solve problems caused by the new constraints of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2270 and a recently enacted US sanctions law. Moving money and goods to and from the DPRK will become more difficult, but it will certainly not [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.