PIIE Blog | North Korea: Witness to Transformation
The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan
research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. More › ›
Subscribe to North Korea: Witness to Transformation Search
North Korea: Witness to Transformation

In this blog, we report on developments in and around North Korea, including the broader security setting and political, economic, and social change in the country.

Recent Posts

USKI Event: Humanitarian and Educational Programs in North Korea

by | January 31st, 2015 | 07:00 am

Next week in Washington D.C., the US-Korea Institute (USKI) at SAIS will hold an event titled “Getting Beyond Politics: Creating Lasting Impact in North Korea” on Wednesday, February 4th. The description and list of speakers, which includes the Founding President of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, is pasted below:     Getting Beyond […]

Read full post

The Obama YouTube Interviews

by | January 30th, 2015 | 07:00 am

Aidan Foster-Carter beat us to this one, but we are happy to give him credit. Over at 38North he caught the fact that North Korea came up in a couple of the interviews President Obama did with three savvy YouTube content creators: Bethany Mota, GloZell Green and Hank Green. Hats off to them; each has in the […]

Read full post

The Interview Update

by | January 29th, 2015 | 07:00 am

According to Box Office Mojo, The Interview—the Seth Rogen satire at the heart of the Sony hack—has had its day in the theatres. Peaking at nearly 600 outlets in the first week of the year, riding an odd kind of patriotic support, it grossed only $150,000 last weak at about 160 theaters; total theater gross […]

Read full post

Haggard at Nikkei Asian Review

by | January 28th, 2015 | 07:00 am

The week before last, a group of American diplomats and North Korea specialists met at a track-two dialogue in Singapore. The American delegation was led by former special State Department representative for North Korea Stephen Bosworth and included Leon Sigal, author of the classic study of the first nuclear crisis, Disarming Strangers, non-proliferation expert Joseph […]

Read full post

Seoul Conference on Doing Business in North Korea

by | January 26th, 2015 | 04:38 pm

This is short notice, but we were alerted to an upcoming conference at Kyungnam University’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES) titled “Doing Business in North Korea: Opportunities and Challenges” which will take place from 1 – 6PM on January 28th. (According to the .pdf instructions, you will be able to register on-site and there […]

Read full post

Russia-DPRK Relations Update: Are Fighter Jet Sales in the Cards?

by and Kevin Stahler | January 26th, 2015 | 07:00 am

Among the more intriguing developments in the past year has been the apparent deterioration in diplomatic relations between North Korea and China, and the North’s concomitant tilt toward Russia. The dance continues with the announcement that Kim Jong Un will attend a military march commemorating the 70th anniversary of the allied victory in Moscow in […]

Read full post

DPRK Association for Human Rights Studies on the Shin Case (aka “Give ‘em enough rope”)

by | January 23rd, 2015 | 06:13 am

In the interest of being, as they say over at Fox News, “fair and balanced,” today we present the DPRK Association for Human Rights Studies statement on the Shin Dong-hyuk case. It is an interesting perspective which I believe merits wide circulation. To paraphrase, “we resolutely deny that we have any homosexuals in our country, but […]

Read full post

The Case Against—and For—Shin Dong-hyuk

by | January 22nd, 2015 | 10:02 am

As the drama unfolded at the UN over the Commission of Inquiry report, the North Korean government took particular aim at one of the refugees who had testified before the Commission: Shin Dong-hyuk. Shin’s case had been brought to life through Blaine Harden’s powerful Escape from Camp 14. The book had strong impact, and was […]

Read full post

Haass vs. Schake on North Korea Policy

by | January 22nd, 2015 | 07:00 am

This blog welcomes informed debate on US policy toward North Korea, and The Diplomat’s Joseph Bosco reminded us of one we should replay. In late December, Richard Haass, with long policy experience in the Middle East and now president of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote a piece on North Korea policy on the Wall […]

Read full post

How Has the Commodity Bust Affected North Korea’s Trade Balance? (Part 2)

by | January 21st, 2015 | 07:00 am

Yesterday, I presented a simple exercise to measure to what degree deteriorating global market prices for iron ore and anthracite have affected North Korea’s trade balance, given about half of the country’s exports come from these commodities. My rough guess is that North Korea will forego upwards of half a billion dollars in export revenue […]

Read full post