North Korea is a country of 25 million people held hostage by its warlord ruler. Its real GDP per capita is estimated at less than 10% of Bulgaria’s and less than 5% of South Korea’s.  Its main export is fear, sustained by long credible threats of devastating Seoul just south of the border and increasingly credible threats of wreaking nuclear havoc on Japan or the U.S. Its main Achilles’ heel is dependence on foreign oil, which China supplies in part to protect an ally on its border and in part because the enemy of its enemies is its friend. Its main protection is its long-screamed eagerness to take others down in flames with it.   Ideally, South Korea and North Korea should reunite the way West Germany and East

This entry was posted in The Region and tagged , , by Kent Osband.

About Kent Osband

Dr. Osband is an American economist, strategist, financial risk analyst and longtime student of Bulgaria. He is the author of two well-known books on quantitative risk analysis (Iceberg Risk: An Adventure in Portfolio Theory and Pandora Risk: Uncertainty at the Core of Finance) and has served both in the public (IMF, WB) and private sectors (Goldman Sachs, CSFB, Fortress Investments).