by Marcus Noland, Peterson Institute for International Economics
December 19, 2008
This study finds that North Korea's nuclear test and the imposition of UN Security Council sanctions have had no perceptible effect on North Korea's trade with its two largest partners, China and South Korea. Before North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test, it was widely believed that such an event would have cataclysmic diplomatic ramifications. However, beginning with visual inspection of data and ending with time-series models, no evidence is found to support the notion that these events have had any effect on North Korea's trade with its two principal partners.
In retrospect, North Korea may have calculated quite correctly that the direct penalties for establishing itself as a nuclear power would be modest (or, alternatively, put such a high value on demonstrating its nuclear capability that it outweighed the downside risks, however large). If sanctions are to deter behavior in the future, they will have to be much more enthusiastically implemented.
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Peterson Perspective: North Korea's Immunity to Outside Pressure: Part I December 12, 2012
Policy Brief 10-1: The Winter of Their Discontent: Pyongyang Attacks the Market January 2010
Working Paper 10-2: Economic Crime and Punishment in North Korea March 2010
Paper: FTAs and the Future of US-Korean Trade Relations November 2009
Paper: Implementing the KORUS FTA: Key Challenges and Policy Proposals February 2008
Policy Brief 08-6: North Korea on the Precipice of Famine May 2008
Policy Brief 07-7: The Korea-US Free Trade Agreement: A Summary Assessment August 2007
Policy Brief 06-4: Negotiating the Korea–United States Free Trade Agreement June 2006
Working Paper 07-7: North Korea’s External Economic Relations August 2007
Working Paper 08-4: Migration Experiences of North Korean Refugees: Survey Evidence from China March 2008