How North Korean trading companies make money

Trade organizations work together by swapping their state-approved quota for surplus materials
June 28th, 2013
1

SEOUL – One of the most important peculiarities of the North Korean economy is the existence of numerous Foreign Currency Earning Companies (FCEC) that, usually with flowery Chinese-style names, sell resources to China, and import consumption goods to North Korea.

Most communist states historically followed the Soviet model that made foreign trade the nearly exclusive

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About the Author

Andrei Lankov

Andrei Nikolaevich Lankov is a Russian scholar of Asia and a specialist in Korean studies. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Leningrad State University in 1986 and 1989, respectively; He also attended Pyongyang's Kim Il-sung University in 1985. Following his graduate studies, he taught Korean history and language at his alma mater, and in 1992 went to South Korea for work; he moved to Australia in 1996 to take up a post at the Australian National University, and moved back to Seoul to teach at Kookmin University in 2004. Dr. Lankov has a DPRK-themed Livejournal blog in Russian with occasional English posts, where he documents aspects of life in North (and South) Korea, together with his musings and links to his publications. He also writes columns for the English-language daily The Korea Times.

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