Evil geniuses, stumbling fools, or something in between, we will attempt to divine the real motives behind Pyongyang’s foreign policy moves.
Foreign trade is, like elsewhere and for obvious reasons, one of the key indicators of North Korea’s economy. However, since the state is notoriously reluctant to provide related figures, we have to rely on external sources to obtain this data. The South Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) is one institution that has for many years [...]
By design, the UN Security Council is a reactive architect of sanctions regimes; its measures addressing North Korean nuclear and missile programs demonstrates this clearly. The 15-country body created an initial round of sanctions in 2006 in response to the North’s first nuclear test, expanded on the measures after its second test in 2009, and [...]
As news spread in July of the freshly brokered multilateral plan on Iran’s nuclear program, some observers began to speculate that a North Korean nuclear deal might come next. Analysts pinned their hopes on China, as in past moments of optimism, when they suggested that the North Korean ally might be able to help reanimate the Six Party [...]
Personal relationships are one of the most under-discussed aspects of nonproliferation and sanctions implementation. Yet understanding them is crucial to both. For decades, North Korea has maintained a close circle of friends in Singapore that have aided the country’s overseas trade. They have marketed North Korean products, secured service [...]
Could the New Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Change the Dynamics of Economic Engagement with North Korea?
The surprisingly robust emergence of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) through its recruitment of 57 founding member countries has transformed prospects for economic cooperation in Asia. The AIIB promises to become a credible multilateral financial institution capable of funding significant infrastructure projects across the region. [...]
Over the past few months, there have been a number of important developments concerning North Korea’s external finances. In early December 2014, North Korea announced that the law governing wages for workers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex had been revised, removing the upper limit without consultation with South Korean authorities. In [...]