Why North Korea paradoxically does and does not want to boost its economy
Many carrots have been dangled in front of the DPRK, but leaders don’t want economic growth to ruin their political sway
The following article is a first-person analysis written by Thomas Schäfer, who served as the German ambassador to North Korea from 2007 to 2010 and from 2013 to 2018.
Over the years, North Korea has been offered various economic incentives in return for its denuclearization. But for Pyongyang, money takes second place. Its primordial goal is to weaken the U.S.-ROK relationship and get American troops off the peninsula.
Hardliners have increased their sway under Kim Jong Un. They see in aid and economic cooperation less of an opportunity than a risk to the regime’s stability
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