How does a country like Nort Korea seem to have endless money for its army and develop nuclear weapons despite being one of the most sanctionned country in the world?


How does a country like Nort Korea seem to have endless money for its army and develop nuclear weapons despite being one of the most sanctionned country in the world?

In: 1447


Don’t believe everything you read about North Korea, as there are active incentives to portray NK as “not that bad,” or “cartoonishly bad.” North Korea is bad, which makes it difficult to discern fact from fiction.

That said, North Korea counterfeits money, grows crops and mines raw resources. Most of their actual money comes from China and Russia, and that’s also where most of their scientific knowledge comes from. Sanctions from the US and Europe do not have as significant an impact on their economy because their money (mostly) doesn’t come with trade to Western nations.

To answer your question: trade and militarily strategic geography keeps NK from running out of money, but they also don’t have a military budget near the size of most nuclear powers.

So far, North Korea has been ruled under a single dynasty, and its policies have fluctuated based on leader. Kim Il-Sung was a bit of a populist among his people, and there was an attempt, albeit extremely flawed, to provide for the people of NK. When Kim Jong-Il became leader, the state went into its military dictatorship (it was a dictatorship before, but not as brutal). After the passing of Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Un took over and consolidated power by executing those who could challenge his power. Jong-Un has begun to make massive humanitarian strides in NK: he’s been pictured with peasantry, something his father would never have done. The politics of NK is immensely fascinating and we only have a small glimmer into it; I thought these would be interesting things to learn.

The main thing to remember about sanctions is they are basicalaly commands from one country to all of its allies to not trade with certain nations in certain things.

So…what happens if there are nations that are NOT the allies of the nation issueing sanctions?
Well they can do whatever they want.

In short, while NK’s economy is awful and the people have worms and stuff because they have to use human feces as fertilzier…the country still engages in plenty of trade and interrelations with other nations and THEIR economies becasue there is a considerable portion of the planet that frankly doesn’t care for if not outright hate the USA and its western block of allies.

That 2 of those nations are direct neighbors of them, China and Russia, helps a LOT.


There’s an important element of defense logistics called Purchasing Power Parity. lets demonstrate with a broad strokes example. Lets say the US buys 1000 rifles. The US pays the factory worker that does it 30 dollars an hour, it takes him 1 hour per rifle, the US defense budget for that order is 30,000$. Lets say North Korea buys 1000 rifles. It still takes 1 hour per rifle, but they pay the worker making it 1 dollar an hour. Their Military Budget is 1000$, but they still got 1000 rifles.


There’s a lot more moving parts going on, but thats the general idea, its essentially the element of Cost of Living. A 100k salary in San Francisco and a 100k a year salary in Wyoming fund vastly different lifestyles.