Expedient Sell-Off or Prosperous Fundament? Scott Bruce on North Korea’s Mineral Economy

By | August 30, 2012 | No Comments

North Korean Steel Factory Near Ji’an, PRC | Photo by Adam Cathcart

In a trenchant essay published today, analyst Scott Bruce wields his expertise and a significant argument:

Rare earth metals can be a game changing bonanza for North Korea, but, without reform, their claim is likely to pinch out. In the end, the North Korean government must determine if the minerals will be a lever to shift political relations in the region, or if it will continue to sell its most valuable asset at a discount.


The value of rare earth metals and their relatively limited supplywould seem to work in North Korea’s favor. Rare earth metals are used in the construction of everything from iPods to precision guided missiles.

Read the whole thing at The Diplomat.

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