February 17, 2023, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun—
Analysis of recent commercially available satellite imagery of the Russia–North Korea railroad crossing suggests significantly increased energy and economic trade as Pyongyang seeks to tighten ties with Moscow... An approximate count of the railcars at Khasan and Tumangang shows the movement of railcars…
November 15, 2021, by 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, by 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.
August 26, 2018, by 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, by 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, by 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.
November 6, 2017, by 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.
July 18, 2017, by 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, by 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...
January 19, 2017, by DailyNK Editorial Team—
North Koreans are gaining greater access to uncensored information... North Koreans are gaining greater access to uncensored information about regional conditions and world events thanks to new forms of media and technology flooding into the country from abroad. Former North Korean ambassador Thae…