North Korea has been a threat in Asia for a couple of decades. Recently, it declared the successful experiment of the hydrogen bomb. The US, South Korea, and Japan always have to keep an eye on the movement of North Korea.
My past entry: North Korea declared successful hydrogen bomb experiment
On the other hand, it seems North Korea’s economy is almost broken. Recently, I watched the news that soldiers in North Korea were willing to exchange toothpowder provided by the government for fish got by local fishermen. Agriculture in the North is also unsuccessful because it does not have the modern knowledge to maximize the harvest.
How does the government earn the money to develop its army and research weaponry?
I found one article to answer my question. The author does not know the exact situation of the North Korean economy as it has not revealed the official statistics. But, some ways to earn hard currency in North Korea were introduced in this article.
Voice of America: How Impoverished but Nuclear-Armed North Korea Earns Money
It is obvious that the greatest partner of North Korea is China. Approximately 74% of the international transaction in North Korea targets China. Recently, China stated to start sanction to North Korea with restricting the export. It will be striking on North Korea.
My past entry: China participates in the sanction against North Korea
However, North Korea has been not so willing to make a trade with foreign countries. Some say the influence of restrictive transaction is limited.
Also, North Korea is focusing on the promotion of tourism. It developed special tourism zones to lure foreign travelers. I have heard some influential persons invited to North Korea, to believe its fallacious comments about the current situation. The US and other countries are warning not to visit North Korea. I cannot believe either tourism business or promote international reputation in North Korea will be successful.
Therefore, the last resort for North Korea to earn foreign currency is exporting workers. It is said up to 100,000 North Koreans are working overseas. Also in Japan, some North Korean people are considered to be working, mostly maybe illegally.
However, it is not certain that they will contribute to the government continuously. Although some may have loyalty to the government, I guess many are abandoning North Korea. They see the foreign culture and communicate with local people. Their experience will change their mind more or less.
Therefore, what we should do to weaken North Korea is to welcome such people, instead of discriminating them.