May 19, 2024


Peter Ward

Peter Ward

Peter Ward is a research fellow at the Sejong Institute. His work focuses on North Korean politics, the economy and society. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna.


A war on words: Kim Jong Un’s Orwellian crackdown on talking like South Koreans

A new North Korean law polices intonation, jargon and more in futile effort to curtail ‘the puppet way of speaking’

Peter WardPeter WardJune 28, 2023

The other Korean demographic crisis: Unmasking North Korea’s population data

DPRK has likely fudged numbers since 90s famine, a finding that impacts assessments of military and economic strength

Peter WardPeter WardJune 23, 2023

One step forward, two back: North Korea’s confounding new financial reforms

Reports suggest regional banks have more power than ever, even as state reigns in market mechanisms on national level

Peter WardPeter WardJune 13, 2023

Poker face: North Korea tries new strategy in crackdown on ‘bluffing’ and lying

Penalties for poor performance and inability to fact check has made false reporting endemic, analysis of new law shows

Peter WardPeter WardMay 19, 2023

Don’t have a cow, man? Now North Korean farmers can get one at oxen marketplace

Recent DPRK law creates legal market for the draft animal in the most significant agricultural reform in years

Peter WardPeter WardApril 12, 2023

How North Korea’s decrepit tax system encourages illicit market activity

Poor collection mechanisms cannot fund state largesse, incentivizing even the military to seek cash from elsewhere

Peter WardPeter WardApril 7, 2023

Friendship and family networks are key to getting outside info to North Koreans

Autocratic regimes atomize communities and increase suspicion, but some spaces are safer for sharing illicit info

Peter WardPeter Ward | Steven DenneyMarch 13, 2023

Why Kim Jong Un’s farming ‘revolution’ will do little to curb food insecurity

At latest plenum, North Korea promised bright communist future but refused to address chronic structural issues

Peter WardPeter WardMarch 6, 2023

How North Korean state firms bend the rules to rake in cash from market activity

Newly revealed DPRK law details crackdown on use of special privileges to dodge taxes, embezzle funds and more

Peter WardPeter WardFebruary 24, 2023

Blurred lines: Inside North Korea’s messy business ecosystem

Both state power and market forces shape the DPRK economy in ways that are only now coming into focus

Peter WardPeter WardFebruary 15, 2023
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