Closed for Business: North Korea in 2020

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This event examines North Korea’s trade and border shutdowns over the past year and analyse their implications.

North Korea has continually denied that it has suffered any Covid-19 infections. However, in response to the pandemic the country has closed its borders and idled its trading vessels.

As we continue to keep a careful watch on developments in the country, we will look at how North Korea’s behaviour has been altered over the past year, and assess the impact these apparently health-related measures may have on the country’s sanctions evasion efforts or its weapons programme.

We will also look at the methods we deploy to observe such changes, which range from perusing through official reports, to the use of satellite imagery and the comparison of trade data.


Cristina Varriale, Research Fellow, RUSI

Joe Byrne, Research Analyst, RUSI

This event will be chaired by Hamish Macdonald, Associate Fellow, RUSI

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