North Korea, its Economy, and Risk Factors

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north korea

North Korea is one of the most if not the most isolated countries in the world. It has retained this status for decades. It is worth noting that, North Korea is struggling to deal with various challenges. As a reminder, the state of the local economy was far from being ideal even before the coronavirus pandemic.

People should take into consideration that, the country voluntarily severed the last of its meagre ties with the outside world in 2020 to prevent an influx of coronavirus. Importantly, that included cutting off almost all trade with China, an economic lifeline the impoverished country needs to keep its people from going hungry. Unfortunately, the country’s economy is in a degraded condition and its food supply is reportedly in peril.

Interestingly, to stop the virus, Kim Jong Un did to his country what many in the U.S. hoped economic sanctions would do: bring the local economy close to the brink of collapse. Importantly, his decision has led many to question if sanctions will ever be strong enough to change Kim’s thinking.

However, some analysts do not share this position. As stated above, the state of the local economy is far from being ideal. They believe now it is time to apply even more pressure on the regime. This way they want to convince the country’s leader that his continued pursuit of nuclear weapons doe not guarantee his regime’s safety. On the contrary, nuclear weapons represent a threat to the regime.

North Korea and nuclear weapons

North Korea started to develop nuclear weapons a long time ago, the international community was unable to prevent the regime from developing such weapons. In fact, it is worth mentioning that, additional sanctions or any other measures have the potential to create more problems. Notably, it could force North Koreans to choose between feeding its people and funding its nuclear weapons. Importantly, Kim would likely choose the second option.

Things are not that bad in North Korea at the moment, but analysts believe the economic situation is more critical than it has been since the famine.

In several hours, Joe Biden will replace Donald Trump in the White House. It is worth mentioning that, Biden now faces the same foreign policy issue as previous presidents. It will be very hard to convince North Korea to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons as well as ballistic missiles. Biden should work with North Korea as well as other countries to accomplish this task.

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