North Korea's Illicit Means of Generating Foreign Revenue

The final video in a series exploring non-traditional security challenges in the context of North Korea.

North Korea’s transnational criminal activities are a growing concern not only for its immediate neighbours, but also for the wider international community. These illicit transactions are a key revenue stream for the North Korean government to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, as well as the luxuries enjoyed by Pyongyang’s elite class. Organs of the North Korean state regularly engage in criminal enterprises in a concerted effort to maximise the funds that prop up the Kim regime and to undermine the international sanctions on the country.

In this video, Sasha Erskine, Research Analyst, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, explores North Korea’s history of generating foreign revenue by illicit means, and what sort of threat the country poses as it engages in more criminal activities.

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Supported by

  • UniKorea Foundation

    UniKorea Foundation

    The UniKorea Foundation, founded in May 2015, is dedicated to preparations for a Korean unification by working towards mutual cooperation between the two Koreas and promoting peace and reconciliation among North and South Koreans and the world as a whole.

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Sasha Erskine

Former Research Analyst

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