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.


Why North Korea is the ultimate sucker bet for would-be investors

Cheap labor and proximity to China are not enough to make DPRK preferable to alternatives like Vietnam and Indonesia

Peter WardPeter WardFebruary 6, 2023

North Korea’s bleak budget for 2023 hints COVID and trade controls will stay

Officials expect just 1% revenue growth this year, betraying few hopes for improvements in pandemic economic situation

Peter WardPeter WardJanuary 20, 2023

How the Chinese economy is becoming more and more like North Korea’s

As Beijing turns less capitalist and market-friendly, it grows more unlikely the DPRK will embrace true economic reforms

Peter WardPeter WardJanuary 16, 2023

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
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