No guarantee tourism revenues don't fund weapons development | NK News
June 21, 2024

No guarantee tourism revenues don’t fund weapons development

Misleading to say tourism in the DPRK saps strength away from the weapons and nuclear industry

In DPRK academic and business circles, there are always debates about the legality and morality of spending money in North Korea. This is especially true for Americans. On one extreme end of the spectrum is the hard-line starve-or-collapse-them sanctions people, and on the other are the overly-embracing friends-to-all who seem to ignore that there are real problems between the DPRK and U.S. governments. It is important that, before I go on, to note that I think tourism and foreign investment is incredibly important in the DPRK, and advocate the expansion of both within qualified reason.

A few weeks ago, Robert Willoughby wrote an article arguing that any money, time, and manpower spent on building the tourism industry in the DPRK was good, as it took resources away from the controversial nuclear program. There are issues with Willoughby’s logic even before one begins to argue with the economics. As I said before, I support tourism and foreign investment as stabilizing factors on the Korean Peninsula, but some people support these ventures for questionable reasons or put too much faith in governments with significant and pervasive distrust between them.

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