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KEI Spotlight

KEI Fellow, Senior Director, and Advisory Council Member comment on DPRK sanctions

November 15, 2018

In an interview with the VOA, KEI Non-resident Fellow William Brown, Senior Director Troy Stangarone, and Advisory Council member Bradley Babson underscored the impact that sanctions regime has had on North Korea.

Dr. Brown anticipated North Korea to face further challenges with domestic scarcity of fuel and machine parts. He expected some of the deficit to be mitigated by smuggling, but noted that this informal network would also serve to weaken the central control of Pyongyang over the economy. 

Dr. Babson agrees that the impact of sanctions on North Korea has been intense, particularly because the country's reliance on trade had increased in the past several years. Simultaneously, he points out that this has also had some unexpectedly positive outcomes: North Korea has pushed to reform its industries to be more competitive and invested in technologies like coal gasification.

Senior Director Stangarone points to foreign exchange rate volatility that North Korea experienced and observed that similar patterns were evident in Iran during the U.S. sanctions campaign.

See the article here (in Korean)