North Korea Likely to Lift Pandemic Border Restrictions in 2023


In his speech at the Workers’ Party at the end of December 2022, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stressed that 2023 is the third year of key significance in implementing the Five-Year Plan (2021-25). However, his only specific plan to that end is to build a new street with 3,700 new apartments in 2023. On the security front, Kim ordered “exponential” expansion of his country’s nuclear arsenal and the development of a solid-fueled ICBM, as well as launching a spy satellite in 2023 – all of which require significant financial resources. To achieve its goals for 2023, the government seems to need a new strategy. Its self-reliant economic system has already been exhausted after spending three years with strict limits on cross-border trade and traffic because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sangsoo Lee writes for The Diplomat.



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