In the News
Through our programs training North Korean policymakers in business, economics and law, we develop an on-the-ground perspective of economic issues in North Korea. For media inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
-10-09-2013 TED Talks The quirky talks of TED@NYC
In this talk, See describes his experience with the Choson Exchange, which holds entrepreneurial workshops in this very tough environment.
-09-19-2013 38North Sports!
Why are North Korean sports “being promoted like never before”?
-05-27-2013 CNN China Closes Pyongyang Bank Account
“The closure of the Foreign Trade Bank’s account at Bank of China two weeks ago was significant and disruptive, but was even more important in terms of perception and symbolism”
-04-13-2013 CNN What North Korea Could Learn from Myanmar
“Myanmar’s transformation is partly because of the leadership realizing that overreliance on China jeopardized the country’s national security.”
-02-13-2013 Wealthbriefing Asia The Ultimate Final Frontier Market
“A critical factor that has escaped the attention of many observers is how mindsets have changed. There is an active entrepreneurial community on the ground in North Korea.”
-12-14-2012 Asia Times North Korea Picks Its Rocket Moment
Why did the DPRK time its launch so close to the South Korean elections?
-08-13-2012 38 North Are the Arirang Mass Games Preparing People for A Chinese Path?
This tacked-on ending celebrates the “eternal friendship between China and Korea” and features Chinese dragons, pandas, acrobats and other lighthearted cartoonishness on the performance floor.
-05-14-2012 Korea Times Guidance on Weeds
Kim Jong Un sends out warnings about corruption, through speech and metaphor.
-05-01-2012 The Diplomat North Korea’s Resource Headache
Might a “resource-driven equilibrium” be developing in North Korea?
- 04-07-2012 Five Foot Way Kim’s Pyongyang
Calvin discusses the reasoning behind Pyongyang’s design.
-03-22-2012 Asia Times North Korea mired by muddle or masterminds
Andray talks about current perspectives on North Korea.
- 01-31-2012 38North at John Hopkins SAIS Commercial Life in North Korea
Geoffrey talks about fried chicken, income inequality, increasing commercial life and a growing interest in business studies in North Korea
- 01-05-2012 Korean Kontext Podcast by KEI North Korea after Kim Jong-il
Andray joins a discussion on various issues surrounding North Korea post Kim Jong-Il’s death. (in downloadable mp3, streaming and on iTunes)
- 12-22-2011 38North at John Hopkins SAIS The Key Question
Andray points out the predictions of instability in North Korea were overblown
- 12-22-2011 The Diplomat Why World Should Watch Rason
Andray and Board Member John Kim puts an ‘upgrade’ on the potential for Rason to develop
- 12-21-2011 The East Asia Forum North Korea: new opportunities in a post-Kim Jong Il landscape
Geoffrey looks beyond the immediate transition phase and emphasizes the need to identify opportunities in a post-Kim Jong Il landscape
- 12-21-2011 The Korea Times Reform and stability in North Korea
Andray talks about what drives stability in North Korea during this transition period
- 12-20-2011 St Gallen Symposium North Korea and the 3Ms of Risk
Geoffrey argues that even financial risk can be measured in North Korea with creative approaches
- 11-07-2011 The Korea Times An Opportunity Missed
Andray talks about how the KORUS FTA is a missed opportunity for encouraging better relations with North Korea
- 08-29-2011 38North at John Hopkins SAIS Road to Rason
Andray explains that infrastructure development has finally started taking place in Rason, North Korea’s Special Economic Zone
- 08-23-2011 Harvard International Review Economic Performance and Legitimacy in North Korea
Geoffrey and Andray argue that economic development is (paradoxically) increasingly important in North Korea’s efforts to bolster state legitimacy (read truncated reprint at the East Asia Forum)
- 07-29-2011 Chronicle of Higher Education Why North Koreans Deserve the Opportunity to Study Abroad
Geoffrey argues that young North Korean students deserve opportunities to study abroad, and that universities can benefit from providing opportunities too
-07-05-2011 38North at John Hopkins SAIS Beyond Good Intentions: The Challenges of Recruiting Deserving Young North Koreans
Geoffrey argues that high-potential North Koreans can be selected for overseas programs through rigorous selection mechanisms
-03-05-2011 East Asia Forum North Korea: Australia’s capacity to act where others cannot
Geoffrey argues that Australia can make an impact on North Korean issues by restarting scholarship programs in economics and finance for North Koreans
-07-25-10 Forbes North Korea’s Incentive to Change
Geoffrey argues that economic assistance must be offered selectively to help North Korea transition to a more sustainable economic model
Media Coverage and Expert Commentary
-12-05-2013 The Guardian North Korea Faces a Long Road to Reform
SEZs represent opening “a crack”.
-11-20-2013 Forbes Asia Things Are Brewing In North Korea’s Rason Zone
“When telecommunications become a little more open that will indicate the seriousness of purpose,” says Andray Abrahamian,
-11-18-2013 The Hankyoreh North Korea’s Dilemma
John Feffer from Foreign Policy in Focus notes our work.
-10-22-2013 TechinAsia Does North Korea really have a budding tech scene? [INTERVIEW]
“Hopefully we see a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem but we’re clearly in early days.”
-10-07-2013 NPR (AP) NKorea Rushes To Finish Lavish Ski Resort
“Masik is not merely a gilded albatross.”
-10-10-2013 Global Post Wanna do business in North Korea? Good luck!
How personal banking woes fit into sanctions.
-09-18-2013 Channel News Asia Economic Necessity may force N. Korea to Open Up
John Yohan Kim: “I think you’re going to get targeted areas of “development” as you would call it.”
-09-18-2013 Christian Science Monitor North Koreans are visiting Singapore – whither the ‘hermit’ kingdom?
“A nonprofit in Singapore is paving a path that some say may help open up North Korea to the outside world and stoke interest in private commerce and economic growth there.”
-09-04-2013 Chosun Ilbo Coffee Shops Add to Pyongyang’s Dolche Vita
Chosun Ilbo’s crack team finds our blog post from 6 months ago via a French news organization.
-08-31-2013 Business Insider Vous Prendrez Bien un Petit Expresso Nord-Coréen ?
“…ou d’autres plus innocents comme le cocktail ‘Joyeux anniversaire’”
-08-31-2013 France 24 Did Kim Jong Un Execute his Ex-girlfriend?
Bibles and porn? We should be incredulous.
-07-29-2013 The Diplomat Pyongyang’s Arirang Festival: Eye Candy for the Masses
“North Korea can do this like no other society…”
-06-21-2013 The Diplomat Kim Jong-Un’s $7 Million Yacht: Living It Up Under UN Sanctions
“As sophisticated as efforts to control the illicit flow of money and goods around the world have gotten, there remain ways around it,” Andray Abrahamian…
06-21-2013 The Economist Cheeseburgers in Paradise Island
The Economist goes to Pyongyang: “However, instead of challenging me over The Economist’s view of the world economy, they pumped me for facts—hard facts.”
06-11-2013 The Atlantic Some North Koreans Get Business Internships in Singapore
Desmond: ”North Korea is at a time where they need help, but help is hard to give.”
05-23-2013 Reuters European banks stop sending money to North Korea: aid groups
Andray: ”Sanctioning this bank is going to force more and more business underground.”
05-22-2013 Channel News Asia Views on the News
Board Member John Kim gets up early to share his views on recent Rocket Launches in the studio of “A.M. Live”
04-20-2013 Today Online Ice cream in S’pore, coffee in Pyongyang
An overview of our programs and mission – anchored by tales of coffee and ice cream.
04-19-2013 The Diplomat Pulitzer Winner: “The Orphan Master’s Son” Peers into North Korea’s Heart
How well can you know a place, then how do you represent it?
04-18-2013 Yonhap News First artisan coffee shop opens in N. Korea
As we thought, media interest is high in our ‘discovery’ of 3rd wave coffee in Pyongyang.
04-7-2013 Channel News Asia Views on the News
Board Member John Kim on the tensions.
04-10-2013 Online Opinion Engaging North Korea: time to rethink and retool
Online Opinion argues for greater creativity.
03-22-2013 The Nation New Spin on Ping-Pong Diplomacy
03-29-2013 China Economic Review Comrades in Alms
“China takes a pretty laissez-faire attitude toward outbound investment towards the DPRK,”
03-19-2013 Reuters North Korean elite beating sanctions, one plasma TV at a time
There are always TVs at the airport…
02-27-2013 The Diplomat Dennis Rodman in North Korea: Diplomacy or Tourism?
Andray contributes some thoughts on the NBA legend’s trip to the DPRK.
02-25-2013 Kyodo News ANALYSIS: S. Korea’s Park faces tough tasks dealing with N. Korea, Japan
Said Andray: “the North’s rocket launch would have been easy to ignore in a few months time, but combined with the nuclear test, it makes it very difficult for her to ease some of the restrictions Lee Myung Bak put in place”
02-13-2013 BBC North Korea ‘sanctions’ not working properly
Our board member talks about the efficacy of sanctions against North Korea
02-09-2013 The Economist Rumblings from below
“There are, however, tentative signs of openness to the outside world. Groups like Choson Exchange … have set up workshops with North Korean civil servants to discuss previously touchy subjects such as banking and finance.”
“I think we are going to see the South exploring options for getting involved in mining in North Korea”
01-14-2013 The Global Mail North Korea Dips Toe Into Australian Waters
“It’s tough for Australia to weaken the autonomous sanction regime when it is explicitly linked to an issue on which there is no progress and will likely be no progress”
01-13-2013 LinkTV Asia Google in the DPRK
Andray speculates on the various actors’ motivations regarding the ‘google trip’ in a Skype interview with the ever-handsome Yul Kwon.
01-03-2013 San Jose Mercury News Google’s Eric Schmidt Plans to Visit North Korea
Geoffrey discusses Schmidt’s upcoming trip to North Korea.
12-17-2012 Maeil GyeongJae 北 20~30대 7명 싱가포르서 `인턴십`
A major South Korean economic newspaper recaps our internship program in Singapore.
09-11-2012 Rodong Sinmun Foreign Delegations and Delegates Arrive
Rodong Sinmun mentions our visit and attendance at the Pyongyang International Science and Technology Bookfair
08-23-2012 Reuters TV Taking North Korea’s pulse, from China border boomtown
A somewhat sweaty Andray talks about how young people in Pyongyang are more interested in business than ever before.
08-20-2012 Associated Press (via Asahi Shimbun)North Koreans talk shop with foreigners at trade fair
“Still, though transport from China has improved, Rason officials must ensure steady electricity, broadband Internet, an international banking system and cellphone service for foreigners for foreign firms to operate.”
08-08-2012 VOA Pyongyang to Host International Frisbee Tournament
“Ultimate is not an Olympic sport. But, it has a following around the world and some hope that includes North Korea.”
08-06-2012 Yonhap News (Yonhap Feature) Westerners try new tool for friendship with North Korea: frisbee
“In the middle of the game, this guy walks through herding about 3-dozen deer. Nobody could quite figure out what was going on with that,” Fish said.
-07-30-2012 Knowledge @Wharton Entrepreneurship in North Korea? Bringing Business Concepts to a Communist Nation
“The 20-to-30 age range, not just in North Korea but anywhere else, is the period when people are very driven by new ideas. They’re very excited and willing to go out and try something different.”
-07-27-2012 Kyodo News FOCUS: Marriage Reports, reform plan raise hope for change in N. Korea
“Hopefully <these reforms> will be a step toward greater food security in North Korea.”
- 07-04-2012 Deutsche Welle Frisbee Tournament Opens Up North Korea
An overstated headline for an article about Andray’s Pyongyang frisbee tournament.
- 06-08-2012 Joongang Ilbo (via RFA) “사업 수완 뛰어난 北 고학력 女, 만나보니…”
Various media outlets pick up on our blog post about women in business in North Korea.
- 05-12-2012 Washington Post (via AP) North Korea looking to Singapore and Indonesia for business know-how and investment
North Korea is looking for “a successful growth model that does not threaten the political power structure”.
- 04-22-2012 Al Jazeera Listening Post Chinese whispers: Murder, mystery, the media
(video) “all media…goes towards crafting social roles in North Korea” – Andray Abrahamian
- 04-12-2012 Kyodo News FOCUS: N. Korea likely to follow rocket failure with nuclear bomb test: experts
”How will Pyongyang choose to deal with whoever that president is? From now until the election there are too many unknowns,” said Abrahamian
- 04-02-2012 Maeil Gyeongjae 北상위 1%, 금융맨 되고파
A major South Korean economic newspaper cites Geoffrey and Andray about interest in economic issues in North Korea
- 04-02-2012 Korea Times North Koreans eager to learn int’l business norms
A summary of our work, based on a long interview.
- 03-28-2012 Hanguk Gyeongjae “바젤3가 뭡네까” 시장경제 배우는 평양 엘리트들
A major South Korean economic newspaper interviews Andray and talks about our programs
- 03-15-2012 Donga Ilbo 北, 해외연수 활발…‘김정은식 개혁’ 시작?
A major South Korean newspaper talks about prospects for reform.
- 03-08-2012 Joongang Ilbo 北에도 이런 모델이? 파격 과감 포즈 ‘후끈’
Another major South Korean newspaper pics up our fashion pics
- 03-03-2012 Joongang Ilbo 北 관료들, “3월 평양서 국제 경제 연수 실시”
The same newspaper talks about our upcoming programs
-2-27-2012 CNN/The Global Mail Tiramisu Time in Pyongyang
What accounts for the apparent boom in Pyongyang?
-2-26-2012 Associated Press (via CBS) China brings supermarket concept to North Korea
“China is the conduit through which the North Korean economy is becoming more internationalized,” said Andray Abrahamian
-2-24-2012 Joongang Ilbo 北 여성들 가장 좋아하는 취미는
Joongang Ilbo takes an unusual interest in the hobbies of female North Koreans in a post we had on the hobbies of North Koreans applying for our programs
-2-23-2012 The Economist – Which MBA? Korea Change
“…indeed the “around 20 young officials and employees of state-run enterprises” might be considered among North Korea’s first business students. ”
- 2-22-2012 The Korea Herald Teaching business skills in the Hermit Kingdom
Andray: “<young> people tend to be open to new ideas. In the long run, they will be the ones in charge.”.
- 2-16-2012 The BBC Made in North Korea: Business in a ‘communist monarchy’
Andray talks about some of the changes happening in North Korea.
- 2-14-2012 The Washington Post In North Korea, role of foreign currency grows
Wapo picks up on Choson Exchange’s discussion of foreign currency restaurants in North Korea
- 2-1-2012 SBS News “북 서비스업 유치 적극…패스트푸드점 늘어”
South Korean broadcaster picks up on an op-ed we wrote about North Korea’s commercial life
- 1-14-2012 Maeil Kyongjae 1980년대 北 여성모델, 과감한 원피스 `센스 만점`
South Korea picks up on our discussion of North Korean fashion
- 1-10-2012 Wall Street Journal Korea Real Time Rumors from the North This Week
On our blog we speculate on Ri Chol leaving JVIC, the story was totally absent in the English language press until we picked up on it.
- 12-30-2011 Radio Free Asia 북, 애도기간에도 NGO대북사업 관심
“…김정일 국방위원장의 애도 기간에도 불구하고 대북 교류 사업을 더욱 활발히 진행하길 바란다고 말했다”고 전했습니다
- 12-27-2011 Kyodo News S. Korea mulls new approaches to N. Korea after Kim Jong Il’s death
Andray: “With Kim Jong Il gone, and a new South Korean president on the way by the end of 2012, Seoul will find it easier to reengage”
- 12-23-2011 The Straits Times Singapore firms see potential in North Korea
“Singaporean Geoffrey See, who founded Choson Exchange…is hoping that more North Koreans will be able to visit Singapore on exchange programmes.”
- 12-23-2011 Munhwa Ilbo 北, 해외 경제교류 지속
Munhwa Ilbo notes that Choson Exchange economic programs are scheduled to continue despite Kim Jong Il’s passing
- 12-21-2011 The Non-Profit Quarterly Nonprofits Eke Out Knowledge about Events Big and Small in North Korea
“Many of the press reports in the wake of Kim Jong Il’s death have cited a Singapore-based nonprofit called the Choson Exchange…”
12-21-2011 The Korean Herald Hope and uncertainty for N.K. charities after Kim’s death
Geoffrey: “It is important for countries to reach out early and aggressively with a variety of programs and opportunities to offer a new generation of leadership an ‘open path’ to positive change”
12-20-2011 Associated Press (via Detroit Free Press) New young leader of North Korea is a man of mystery
Andray: “It is impossible to say with certainty what his era will look like. Trying to anticipate the near future is tough enough”
12-19-2011 The Guardian North Koreans’ reaction to Kim Jong-il’s death is impossible to gauge
12-19-2011 The Guardian After Kim Jong-il’s death, what next for the people of North Korea?
Geoffrey: “We’re expecting some form of lockdown on communications and travel in the immediate period as North Korean authorities move to stabilise the situation and prepare for mourning”
12-19-2011 Associated Press (via Chicago Tribune) With Kim Jong Il’s death, young son vaults from ‘Respected General’ to ‘Great Successor’
Andray: “We expect greater caution and less willingness to try new things in the near term, making our programs more difficult to run.”
12-19-2011 Reuters Information black hole as North Korean leader dies
12-19-2011 Wall Street Journal (Southeast Asia Real Time) Singapore Nonprofit Expects Stable Transition in Pyongyang
Andray: “Political infighting among the elites will be completely opaque”
- 11-08-2011 민족화해 북한의 차세대 리더들을 돕는 싱가포르 ‘Choson Exchange’
Inter-Korean issues-focused journal interviews Geoffrey about the key issues economic training in North Korea should focus on (in Korean)
- 11-08-2011 Donga Ilbo 北, 나선지역 외국인에 휴대전화 허용
Donga Ilbo covers our report on mobile prices in Rason SEZ
- 10-22-2011 Joongang Ilbo English North Koreans learn lessons in Singapore
Geoffrey talks about our recent economic policy training program in Singapore. “There’s a lot more individuality in the country [North Korea] than people expect,” See stated.
- 10-21-2011 Chosun Ilbo 오라스콤, 北서 휴대전화 인터넷서비스 계획
조선익스체인지: “오라스콤 관계자가 북한의 3세대 이동통신 서비스에 인터넷 접속 기능을 추가할 계획이며 현재 서비스 시험단계라고 말했다”
- 10-19-2011 Joongang Ilbo 30대 젊은 北관료들 싱가포르 갔다가 충격 받은 이유
조선익스체인지: “북한 정부 관료들이 `싱가포르의 경제 성장과 정책이 매우 인상깊다. 배우고 싶다`고 했다”
조선익스체인지: “북한 관료들이 싱가포르의 경제 성장과 정책이 매우 인상 깊다며 평소에도 관심이 많았고 배우고 싶다고 했다”
- 10-13-2011 Joongang Ilbo 北 차세대 관료들, 싱가포르서 경제정책 연수
“연수에 참가한 북한 관리들 대부분 20-30대 차세대 지도자”
- 10-05-2011 Le Monde Pyongyang collection…
Our article on North Korean 80s fashion is shared with French Readers
- 10-04-2011 Yonhap News (via Dong A Ilbo) 포즈 취하는 北 여성들 사진보니 ‘얼짱각도’
South Korean papers are mesmerized by North Korean women posing in an 80s fashion catalog
- 10-03-2011 mk 뉴스 (Maeil Kyongje) 1980-90 북한 패션 엿보기
South Korea’s top business paper takes an interest in North Korean fashion explored on our blog
- 09-27-2011 Washington Post In a North Korean port city, foreign investment starts to flow
Andray quoted on Rason’s development: The area doesn’t have sufficient banking services. And foreigners still cannot use the local cellphone network.
- 09-20-2011 Yonhap News Communication limited in N. Korea’s Rason economic zone: report
北나선에선 오라스콤 휴대전화 무용지물
Yonhap picks up our report on the state of Rason’s economic development
- 09-06-2011 Associated Press (via Businessweek) Eager for trade, North Korea looks to China
Andray quoted on Rason’s challenge as an investment destination: “No one is going to invest in a port when getting the goods from port inland is a real trial…”
- 09-06-2011 AFP (via France 24) N. Korea takes a stab at capitalism in remote area
Andray quoted on Rason’s port deals: “China has reportedly leased one pier. Russia has signed a 50-year lease for another pier for $1 billion…”
- 09-01-2011 Yonhap News 달라진 北 나선특구..중.러 노동자 목격
조선교류: “지난 6월에만 해도 3시간 30분 걸리던 50㎞ 구간이 나선경제특구의 첫번째 단계인 도로확장 공사로 넓어져 차량간 추월이 가능해 졌을 뿐 아니라 시간도 2시간 20분으로 단축됐다”
-07-25-2011 Wall Street Journal China Real Time 朝鲜建外商投资法律框架 向中国学习
-07-22-2011 Wall Street Journal Korea Real Time NK Follows China in Legal FDI Framework
Wall Street Journal picks up our report on North Korea’s investment laws and how it shares similarities with Chinese investment laws
-06-06-2011 Caijing Magazine (in Chinese) 朝鲜“体制外改革”
Geoffrey quoted by Caijing on North Korean disposable incomes: “我们去的餐馆总是挤满了人。”
- 03-09-2011 Radio Free Asia 북, 올들어 교육관광 상품 잇따라 선보여
“경제 분야를 중심으로 그동안 북한과의 학술교류를 추진해 온 미국의 비정부기구 ‘조선교류(Choson Exchange)’는 북한 학생이 모국을 떠나 해외에서 연수를 받거나… ”
-01-10-2011 La Croix (in French) La Croix – 10 janvier 2010 – Cours eco Pyongyang
Feature article in French paper on our work
-01-03-2011 BBC News Educational programme brings foreigners to North Korea
” …a programme, called Choson Exchange, has been established by a Singapore native to train North Koreans in business and economics in the Republic of Singapore.”
-11-27-2010 Straits Times Group helps N. Koreans gain financial know-how
Singapore’s main daily does a feature article on Choson Exchange and Geoffrey See
- 10-28-2010 Radio Free Asia 북, 미 단체에 싱가포르 유학 도움 요청
“‘조선교류’ 측은 최근 북한 당국자와 전화 통화에서 북한 학생들이 싱가포르에서 공부할 수 있도록…”
-10-20-2010 Radio Free Asia 경제개발 지원자료 북한에 전달
재정ㆍ경제학을 중심으로 북한과 학술교류를 추진해온 이 단체는 지난달에도 평양에서 북한의 경제ㆍ금융 전문가를 대상으로 국제경제의 체계와 전략 및 적용 방안을 강의했다.
-10-21-2010 MK News (매일경제) “US NGO Spreads Policy Materials in North Korea”
South Korea’s top business daily reports on Choson Exchange providing economic policy study materials in North Korea
- 09-30-2010 Radio Free Asia “북 관리, MIT•예일대 출신 강사에 존경심”
“The gentlemen(North Koreans) recognized the institutions affiliated with our representatives. Those institutions are Yale and MIT…”
-09-20-2010 Korea Times Ambitious Graduates Seek to Help North Korea
Korea Times does a feature article on Choson Exchange and Geoffrey See
- 09-20-2010 Radio Free Asia 미국 전문가 등 방북, 재정•경제학 강의
“8명의 금융 전문가들은 지난 13일과 14일 이틀간의 일정으로 북한 평양에서 강의를 통해 국제 경제의 체계와 전략…”