Policy Paper

A Snapshot of North Korea’s Supply Chain Coal Activity – Part II

in Program

Analysis by Peter Makowsky, Jenny Town and Samantha Pitz

Based on an initial look at North Korea’s coal industry, the country’s larger coal mines have remained active despite the increasing restrictions on the North’s coal exports. Part I of this report examined two areas of North Korea’s coal industry: 1) its mining in the South Pyongan region, and 2) its rail coal transfer stations located along the Taedong River, which flows through the region. This report (Part II) examines two key coal ports and the rail transfer yards along the Chinese and Russian borders.

While a degree of ambiguity resides with the activities observed at each of these facilities, the coal ports and border rail transfer yards remain a key component in monitoring compliance with UN Security Council resolutions; it may also provide indicators as to how aggressively the DRPK is executing Kim Jong Un’s guidance to redirect the country’s coal toward meeting its domestic energy needs.

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