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.
December 5, 2017 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Lisa Collins—
On November 24, 2017, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters that the Sino-North Korean Friendship Bridge will be closed temporarily in the “near future” for repairs. A detailed analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery from November 24th shows no activity on the bridge—repair or otherwise.
December 4, 2017 Marie DuMond—
South Korea and the United States generally share similar estimations of China’s and Japan’s blind spots in a unification scenario. Both believe that Beijing has the most prominent blind spot on domestic stabilization and refugees, and that Japan shares similar concerns, suggesting that all four powers could prioritize law and order in a unification scenario.
November 13, 2017 Marie DuMond—
Beyond Parallel’s first-ever survey of expert assessments on unification-related issues indicate South Korea and the United States share the common view that domestic stabilization and unification costs constitute the most critical unification blind spots with a high degree of concern but low levels of knowledge for both countries.
November 6, 2017 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Lisa Collins—
In October, it was reported that North Korea was secretly operating factories inside the Kaesong Industrial Complex without notifying the South Korean government. Satellite imagery shows that while there may be some token industrial activity occurring, the complex is not operational in any real sense of the term.
October 18, 2017 Marie DuMond—
Domestic stabilization is the most critical issue with unification for South Korean officials and experts, registering the highest composite score (i.e., high level of concern and low level of knowledge). This means civil-military relations, law and order, and stability in the North represent the issues for which Koreans see great consequences for national interests, but for which they have little prior knowledge or understanding. Hence, it is the greatest potential “blind spot” of unification. Costs related to unification rank a close second for South Koreans, followed by refugees, nuclear weapons, and human rights.
July 24, 2017 Marie DuMond—
A View Inside North Korea: 35 of 36 North Koreans currently living inside North Korea said at least 75% of their household income came from the markets and not from their official government sanctioned jobs. As featured on The Washington Post... As featured in The Washington Post "Markets helping North Koreans become more independent of the…
July 18, 2017 Evan Ramstad—
South Korea’s New President, in Trying to Develop Economic Policy, is Caught up in Geopolitics. South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, in his first two months in office is trying to ease the country’s relations with North Korea just as liberal predecessors, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, sought to do. Moon opened the door to negotiations and even a summit with the North’s Kim Jong Un, but he has also spoken critically of the North’s missile tests and, with a missile firing and flyovers conducted with the U.S., flexed the South’s military muscles. Moon’s economic strategy is unfolding in a similar manner, with ideas that are like those of the progressive leaders past and some tactics that show he recognizes when difficult choices are needed.
February 20, 2017 Victor Cha—
The Chinese government announced that it would halt coal imports from North Korea starting from February 19 to the end of the year... The Chinese Ministry of Commerce and General Administration of Customs announced (statement in Chinese) on February 18 that it would halt coal imports from North...