US Korea Institute

Tuesday April 25th 2017
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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.

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 [...]

UNSCR 2270: The Good, the Bad and the Perhaps Surprising Opportunity for the North Korean Economy

UNSCR 2270: The Good, the Bad and the Perhaps Surprising Opportunity for the North Korean Economy

The new sanctions established on March 2, by UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2270 bring to mind the hardships that North Korea endured after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The economic disruption from the end of the Cold War led to a contraction of production in the DPRK and hobbled its Public Distribution System (PDS), contributing [...]

UNSCR 2270: A Conundrum for Russia

UNSCR 2270: A Conundrum for Russia

The international community’s relationship with North Korea has reached a bifurcation point that may have far-reaching consequences for the strategic positions of key national players. Specifically, the latest UN sanctions against the DPRK appear likely to substantially harm Russian economic and security interests on the Korean peninsula. [...]

UN Security Council’s New Sanctions on the DPRK

UN Security Council’s New Sanctions on the DPRK

Over a month ago, US Secretary of State John Kerry significantly raised expectations about the possibility of a new UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) against North Korea in response to its nuclear weapons test on January 6. In connection with his trip to China at the end of January, US officials suggested that UNSC sanctions could target [...]

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