More Resources


38 North | Informed commentary on events in and around the DPRK, including on the North Korean economy and external relations.

Choson Exchange Blog | Commentary from a Singapore-based NGO working to promote positive change in North Korea through international workshops and training for entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals in North Korea.

Institute for Far Eastern Studies -- NK Briefs | Short articles on economic developments in North Korea.

North Korea Economy Watch | Blog on the North Korean economy.

North Korea: Witness to Transformation | Blog on economic, political, and security developments in and around the Korean peninsula.


Research Databases

1718 Sanctions Committee | This resource, from the UN committee which oversees North Korea-related Security Council sanctions resolutions, includes reports by UN member states on their actions to implement sanctions; data on member states' reported North Korean coal imports, as outlined by UN Security Council Resolution 2321; and reports on sanctions implementation by the UN Panel of Experts.

China National Tourism Administration | Contains data on international visitors to China. [In Chinese.]

Coal Diplomacy: The Political Economy of North Korean Coal | 2014 Harvard University report by Greg Pavone and Jin Sun on North Korean coal exports, including detailed data sets for download.

The Complete Guide to North Korea Investment Laws | 2014 compilation by Choson Exchange of North Korean laws and regulations related to foreign investment. More recent laws and regulations may be available at Naenara, the official web portal of the DPRK.

Comtrade | UN database serving as a searchable depository of official trade statistics.

CSIS Beyond Parallel Database | Includes unique datasets on topics including China-DPRK high level visits and the timing of North Korean provocations.

Engage DPRK | An interactive database of international humanitarian, development, exchange, and business activities taking place within North Korea.

Financial Tracking Service | A centralized source of curated, continuously updated, fully downloadable data and information on humanitarian funding flows, managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Information System for Resources of North Korea (I-RENK) | Online information service that provides technical information on and analysis of North Korea's natural resources, including the status of its mining sector and data on it's trade of mineral resources with China and South Korea. [In Korean.]

International Food Aid Information System (INTERFAIS) | Database managed by the World Food Programme on international food aid.

K-Stat | Korea International Trade Association (KITA) service incorporating international trade data, including data reported by China’s General Administration of Customs. [In Korean.]

Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee (KIDMAC) | Includes data and background on the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex. [In Korean.]

Korea Customs Service | South Korea's Customs agency has detailed data on inter-Korean trade. [In Korean.]

Korea Trade-Promotion Investment Agency (KOTRA) | Publishes annual reports on North Korea's foreign trade trends. [In Korean.]

Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS) |  Includes a variety of data related to North Korea. [In Korean.]

Making Sense of UN Sanctions on North Korea | Interactive tool from the Carnegie Endowment outlining the scope of UN sanctions on North Korea.

NK Info | Resource from the ROK Ministry of Unification with a wide range of data and information on North Korea. [In Korean.] 

NK Pro | Specialty research service with a variety of research tools related to North Korea. [Subscription required.]

North Korea International Documentation Project | Collects, translates, and disseminates declassified documents on the DPRK from its former communist allies.

Observatory of Economic Complexity | MIT Media Lab project visualizing countries' trade data. [The project's North Korea data is not corrected for reporting errors.]

PRC Ministry of Commerce | Contains information on Chinese foreign investment and economic cooperation. [In Chinese.]

ROK Ministry of Unification | Statistical information on Inter-Korean trade and exchanges.

Sanctions Explorer | A user-friendly tool for researching entities in the U.S. Treasury Department's Specially Designated Nationals database, created by Archer and C4ADS.

UNCTADstat | Database managed by the UN Conference on Trade and Developement, including data in FDI and international trade flows.

United Nations Treaty Collection | Database on multilateral and bilateral treaties and treaty signatories.

World Tourism Organization E-library | Contains mirror statistics on North Korean travel abroad. [Subscription required.]


Research and Analysis

Eberstadt, Nicholas. North Korea's "Epic Economic Fail" in International Perspective, Asan Institute for Policy Studies (November 2015) | Uses historical data on North Korea's merchandise trade to assess the country's postwar economic performance in an international perspective.

Godsey, Matthew and Valerie Lincy. Tracking Proliferation Through Trade Data, Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control (January 2017) | Examines four prominent subscription-based trade data services as well as organizations that have used trade data to uncover proliferation-related transfers, sanctions violations, and other activities of concern.

In China's Shadow: Exposing North Korean Overseas Networks, Asan Institute for Policy Studies and C4ADS (August 2016) | In-depth investigation of North Korea's overseas trade networks, based on open source databases such as corporate registries, court filings, shipping and maritime data, and trade data.

Marumoto, Mika. DPRK Economic Statistics Report, U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS (2009) | Dr. Marumoto conducts an overall assessment of available databases and identified the most salient DPRK economic and social statistics available in the public domain. She also carries out case studies on different categories of North Korean data such as population data, gross domestic product estimates and trade data, in order to help data users make more sound judgments in their use and interpretation of available DPRK statistics.

North Korea -- Characteristics of Joint Ventures with Foreign Partners, 2004-2011, Open Source Center Report (March 2012) | Open source report identifying over 350 joint venture companies operating in North Korea.

Park, John and James Walsh. Stopping North Korea, Inc.: Sanctions Effectiveness and Unintended Consequences, MIT Security Studies Program (August 2016) | Dr. Park and Dr. Walsh examine the effectiveness and unintended consequences of sanctions targeted against North Korea.

Shin Chang-Hoon and Go Myong-Hyun. Beyond the UN COI Report on Human Rights in North Korea, Asan Institute (November 2014) | This report seeks to augment the UN Commission of Inquiry on North Korean human rights by focusing on the abuse of North Korean workers overseas and those working in the country's nuclear facilities.

Shin, Gi-wook and Karin J. Lee, eds. U.S.-DPRK Educational Exchanges: Assessment and Future Strategy, Stanford University Shorenstein APARC (2011) | An edited collection of essays on North Korean educational exchanges with the United States.

Thompson, Drew. Chinese Joint Ventures in North Korea, U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS Report (February 2011) | Thompson provides a profile of Chinese investment in North Korea, and assesses its political implications.

Wertz, Daniel, JJ Oh, and Kim Insung. DPRK Diplomatic Relations, NCNK Issue Brief (August 2016) | Provides a concise history of the various phases of North Korea's diplomatic outreach.