Country Risk Summary: NORTH KOREA

June 2003
Asia Monitor: China & North East Asia Monitor;Jun2003, Vol. 10 Issue 6, p12
Country Report
Country Report
This article focuses on political and economic conditions in North Korea. North Korea's biggest political risk is no less than the collapse of its ruling regime, brought about, if not by Western provocateurs, then by the ruling party's own refusal to curtail its nuclear ambitions in return for vital food aid from abroad. North Korea's rulers know, however, that this situation cannot last they will eventually have to open the door to aid and turn down the nuclear temperature of their diplomatic brinkmanship. Food shortages remain widespread, power cuts are frequent and the country does not have the hard currency to pay for its imports. The Stalinist state follows a philosophy of juche, or self-reliance, meaning only a handful of Chinese and South Korean firms (that are intimately linked to the interests of their respective governments) are allowed even the remotest dealings with North Korea's state-owned companies.


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