June 01, 2023


Peter Ward

Peter Ward is a senior researcher at Kookmin University, a writer and researcher focusing on the North Korean economy, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna.


How North Korea’s own military-industrial complex drives defense spending

Armed forces and munitions producers compete for resources but also have a shared interest in blocking demilitarization

Peter WardPeter WardJanuary 4, 2023

The tragedy of the commons: Natural resource dilemmas in North Korea

Neither the people nor the central government are incentivized to manage forests and oceans sustainably in the short run

Peter WardPeter WardDecember 5, 2022

North Korea’s markets are not a revolutionary force for political change

DPRK entrepreneurs are dependent on and captive to state actors, giving them little incentive to challenge the regime

Peter WardPeter WardNovember 1, 2022

Why North Korea’s shadow economy is not a solution to reform

Informal economic activity provides key products but has limited growth potential, while even reform is not a cure-all

Peter WardPeter WardOctober 28, 2022

China’s economic slowdown bodes ill for North Korea and denuclearization efforts

Reduced consumer demand and increased risk aversion likely to impact DPRK sectors ranging from coal exports to tourism

Peter WardPeter WardOctober 12, 2022

Kim Jong Un sets ambitious economic goals but has no real plan to achieve them

In latest speech, North Korean leader doubles down on decades-old proposals that have failed to fix incentive problems

Peter WardPeter WardSeptember 13, 2022

The limits to tyranny: Why Kim Jong Un doesn’t actually have absolute power

A range of factors constrain the North Korean leader in practice, despite his supreme authority in principle

Peter WardPeter WardAugust 29, 2022

Why are foreign exchange rates soaring in North Korea?

Global inflation, signs of looming food shortages may be driving forex market in DPRK

Peter WardPeter WardAugust 19, 2022

The flaws in the Bank of Korea’s estimates of North Korean economic activity

Questionable assumptions underlie researchers’ methods and findings, as DPRK economy remains a statistical black hole

Peter WardPeter WardAugust 10, 2022

How Kim Jong Un created space for North Korean firms to set prices — with limits

Documents show DPRK leader reinstated agreed price system his father rolled back but stopped short of true free market

Peter WardPeter WardAugust 2, 2022
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