Energy Insecurity in the DPRK
Policy Briefs

Energy Insecurity in the DPRK

APLN Policy Brief 53

The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full brief.

Energy demand and supply have played a key role in attempts to achieve a settlement of the nuclear issue with the DPRK, and the desire to offset its energy insecurity will be an important concern in any return to negotiations. Recent UN sanctions will aggravate humanitarian pain but have only limited effect on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. Engaging the DPRK to help to move forward some Northeast Asian regional energy projects that have been under consideration for many years offers opportunities to create regional energy interdependence linking North Korea’s economy to that of its neighbors, while also improving DPRK energy security. There is a wide variety of energy sector engagement measures in which North Koreans have expressed keen and consistent interest. A package of such engagement measures, starting small and building as agreements on nuclear weapons security issues are made and implemented, should be a key component of negotiations towards settlement of the DPRK nuclear weapons stalemate and related issues.

About the Author

David F. Von Hippel is a Nautilus Institute Senior Associate based in Eugene, Oregon (USA), working on energy and environmental issues in Asia and elsewhere, as well as extensive analyses of the patterns of fuels use and prospects for energy sector redevelopment in North Korea. David also works and has worked for a number of private and public organizations in the US around the world on topics ranging from utility planning and energy efficiency to planning for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Peter Hayes is Honorary Professor, Centre for International Security Studies, Sydney University and Director, Nautilus Institute in Berkeley, California. He works at the nexus of security, environment and energy policy problems. Best known for innovative cooperative engagement strategies in North Korea, he has developed techniques at Nautilus Institute for seeking near-term solutions to global security and sustainability problems and applied them in East Asia, Australia and South Asia.


Image: Pixabay stock, Tomoyuki Mizuta.

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