Although North Korea remains one of the most isolated countries in the world, hundreds of foreign actors continue to work quietly inside the country. What is the size and scope of foreign engagement inside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)? What types of activities do nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and other private actors conduct? What has been the experience and impact of those working inside the DPRK? Relying on an original data set and interviews with sixteen organizational field representatives and staff members with experience working inside the DPRK, I uncover basic trends related to people-to-people engagement in areas such as humanitarian relief, development assistance, educational assistance, professional training, and business interaction. Although impressive growth has taken place in foreign engagement in the DPRK, its potential impact remains unclear due to ongoing internal and external constraints.


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pp. 309-339
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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