US Korea Institute

Saturday February 13th 2016
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Posts Tagged ‘trade’

North Korea’s Special Economic Zones: Plans vs. Progress

North Korea’s Special Economic Zones: Plans vs. Progress

Since Kim Jong Un assumed power, he has prioritized economic development in a way his father never did. Indeed, much of his domestic brand is now linked to economic growth and quality of life issues. He has tinkered with the modus operandi of both farms and state owned enterprises, and set forth a very visible economic experiment: the creation of [...]

Laudable? Lawdy, No! How South Korea’s Spurious Self-Effacement Messes Up North Korea’s Trade Data

Laudable? Lawdy, No! How South Korea’s Spurious Self-Effacement Messes Up North Korea’s Trade Data

Ruediger Frank is one of the very best authorities we have on the DPRK economy. As readers of 38 North well know, he is equally adept at incisive abstract analysis and informed first-hand observation in this vital area. His latest article, “North Korea’s Foreign Trade,” is no exception. Frank has done us all a service, especially those with [...]

North Korea’s Foreign Trade

North Korea’s Foreign Trade

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 [...]

North Korea Building New Transport Corridor and Border Crossing

North Korea Building New Transport Corridor and Border Crossing

North Korea Building New Transport Corridor and Border Crossing While observers have focused attention on road improvements along the DPRK’s east and west coasts in Rason and Sinuiju, since 2011, the DPRK has been constructing a new highway segment linking Huichon to Manpho, where a new border crossing is under construction. This new road and [...]

Rason Special Economic Zone: North Korea as It Could Be

Rason Special Economic Zone: North Korea as It Could Be

If you have ever been to North Korea, you might know that feeling: you are in the country, and at the same time, you are not. Foreign visitors usually stroll through the streets as if they are caught inside a huge transparent rubber sphere. They can see and hear, but most of the time there is this invisible but tangible wall between them and the [...]

Hello Kitty, Hello Wonsan

Hello Kitty, Hello Wonsan

Wonsan, on the DPRK’s east coast, by all accounts, used to bustle—at least by DPRK standards. If the recent outreach between Japan and North Korea bears fruit, Wonsan could undergo a 21st century revival. Since Japan banned all trade with the DPRK in the wake of the disastrous Kim-Koizumi summit of 2002, Wonsan has been a shell of its [...]

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