July 02, 2022

One country, one system: How North Korea-Hong Kong ties pivot around China

Hong Kong-based entities continue to be key nodes in Kim Jong Un’s sanctions-busting and money laundering schemes

On paper, North Korea and Hong Kong could not be more different from one another. The former is an impoverished totalitarian country, the latter a relatively affluent territory that boasts the world’s 40th-largest gross domestic product and second-freest economy.

Yet both are inextricably linked to China — the DPRK’s most important trade partner and an encroaching influence on Hong Kong since the 1997 handover from the U.K.