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Simoes, A. (2018) The Observatory of Economic Complexity.

has been cited by the following article:

  • TITLE: The Black Markets of North Korea

    AUTHORS: Qifan Xiang

    KEYWORDS: North Korea, Economy, Consumerism, Famine, Black Markets, Sanctions, Nuclear Weapons, Drug Trafficking, Arms Trade, Currency Counterfeiting

    JOURNAL NAME: Modern Economy, Vol.10 No.7, July 19, 2019

    ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is to provide insight into the foreign and domestic economies of North Korea, particularly concerning illicit black market activities. Regime doctrine of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been adamant about the country’s sustained self reliance, often making claims of this nature through public broadcasts to its citizens. However, through sources demonstrated in this essay North Korea has been shown to be engaging in black markets across the globe, including high quality currency counterfeiting, arms dealing and drug production and trafficking. North Korea’s goal of obtaining nuclear weaponry as a means of deterrent against “imperialist” invasion has lead to numerous sanctions imposed by the United Nations in an attempt to obstruct these ambitions. As a result, North Korea has pursued illicit means of gaining funds for their nuclear program, namely the black market. Within the country itself, there has been a growing lack of trust of its citizens towards the state’s Public Distribution System in accommodating for their welfare. A nationwide famine which occurred in the mid to late 90s left the country destitute with millions dying of starvation. Following this, catastrophe black markets have emerged throughout the country offering a wide range of products previously unavailable through the state’s rationing system. Although North Korea maintains its claim to be a functioning communist state, this paper aims to dispute this through demonstrating the rise of the country’s participation in both internal and external commercial black markets. This paper consists of an introduction giving a brief overview of the paper’s aims and the divergence of regime rhetoric compared to reality. The following section outlines North Korea’s emergence as a sovereign state, the ideologies which define this regime; then to the difficulties the country has faced throughout the 20th century and the measures (sanctioned or otherwise) taken to address them. The final section before the conclusion addresses how North Korea has come to depend on Black Markets as a means of financially supporting itself. This is both in relation to its citizens who depend on black markets for day to day living, as well as the regime which has used international black markets to fund the ambitions of the military state.