November 15, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun—
Over 16 months after its shutdown of the border with China to prevent COVID transmission, North Korea has seen delays in its efforts to re-open commerce with its primary trade partner. The conversion of Uiju Airbase into a disinfection facility started in early 2021, but the most recent satellite imagery as of November 12 shows no signs of being operational, indicating a delay of at least six months from its original opening plans. Smaller-scale disinfection facilities at other crossings appear to be in development.
May 6, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun—
Satellite imagery supports open-source reporting that the North Korea-China border has likely been closed to trade since January 2020 due to the North Korean government’s precautions against the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. However, a recent increase in the volume of rail cars in the Dandong and Sinuiju Customs areas, as well as the removal of protective coverings at the Sinuiju rail terminal and freight yard (between March 31 and April 1), suggest preparations to resume exports to China that would provide North Korea with some hard currency.
March 17, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha, Marie DuMond, Jonathan E. Hillman and Maesea McCalpin—
Although significant political barriers remain to reconnecting the Korean peninsula, there is merit in substantive study of the types of energy infrastructure connections that would best promote regional growth and stability. The cases examined in this report underscore North Korea’s dire need for energy infrastructure investment and the importance of it meeting the G20 quality infrastructure investment principles.
November 30, 2020 Michelle Bigold, Minjung Chey and Duke Dukho Gim—
Rajin holds considerable economic value, and its viability stems from its potential to act as a regional logistics hub linking the Chinese northeastern provinces, Far East Russia and North Korea. For China, the development of the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin hinges on access to a seaport. Having long suffered from stagnated growth and brain drain, the region is further weighed down by inefficient transport options that continue to stymie its economic potential.
June 16, 2020 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
The latest undertaking at the Hungnam Fertilizer Complex, one of North Korea’s oldest and largest chemical complexes, is the construction of a small “liquid nutrient fertilizer factory.” The construction and future operation of this new liquid nutrient fertilizer factory is a further manifestation of the continuing efforts under Kim Jong-un to increase agricultural production by expanding and diversifying domestic fertilizer production capabilities.
November 19, 2019 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Marie DuMond—
Antiquated facilities, equipment, and processes, together with the continual plague of electricity shortages, will hinder any dramatic production increases of magnesite at North Korea's Taehung Youth Hero Mine... The Taehung Youth Hero Mine "has established the Juche orientation in the production of fireproof…
August 16, 2019 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
Ryongyang Mine is the largest magnesite mine in North Korea and one of the largest in the world. However, satellite and ground imagery show the infrastructure and technology in use at the mines is dated and obsolete when compared to world standards.
September 19, 2018 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Marie DuMond—
Enforcement of international sanctions on North Korean seafood should be expected, therefore, to have an impact on both North Korea’s baseline fisheries earnings and the expected future return on the regime’s investment of resources and strategic effort in this modernization project.
August 26, 2018 Victor Cha and Lisa Collins—
The growth of markets and gradual changes in the economy are some the most significant developments to occur in North Korea over the last 20 years. An understanding of these fundamental changes is critical for the formulation of North Korea policy. In an effort to further investigate these evolving economic changes in North Korea, Beyond Parallel launched a pioneering and original data collection project in 2017 and 2018 on markets.
December 21, 2017 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Lisa Collins—
In July and September 2017, unconfirmed reports circulated about dramatically fluctuating gasoline and diesel prices in North Korea. There were also reports that China was planning to suspend or limit fuel exports to North Korea. Analysis of satellite imagery from around this period indicates that a fuel suspension of any significant length does not appear to have affected Pyongyang.