The Pathetic Economy Of North Korea

  • Published on Oct 3, 2019
  • North Korea, the most most closed off country on earth. This Asian nation is often the centre of intense scrutiny for its aggressive displays of militarism, its internationally condemned nuclear program and of course its oppressive government dictatorship. A 2014 report by the united nations concluded that the gravity, scale and nature of these human rights violations does not have any parallel In the contemporary world. What they are ashamed of though, is something that all these media spectacles help to distract from and that is their incredibly small and pathetic economy.
    beyond the dramatic chest beating and despite all of the opportunities this country has been given it has dwindled into complete economic obscurity and in this video we are going to explore why.
    As always I do my best to reply to all comments in the comments section :)
    Music - Star Citizen Soundtrack - First Light by Pedro Camacho ft Julie Elven -
    Discord Server -
    References -
    Haggard, S. and Noland, M., 2010. Sanctioning North Korea: The political economy of denuclearization and proliferation. Asian Survey
    Gray, K. and Lee, J.W., 2017. Following in China's footsteps? The political economy of North Korean reform. The Pacific Review
    Noland, M., 1997. Why North Korea will muddle through. Foreign Affairs
    Kim, J.C., 2006. The political economy of Chinese investment in North Korea: a preliminary assessment. Asian Survey
    ampson, S.L., 1987. The second economy of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Comments • 2 916

  • Emily Cunningham
    Emily Cunningham 12 hours ago

    How America can fix a tyrant-ridden communist nation:
    1) help NK citizens if they revolt, or even supply them in secrecy(so America isn’t given the stink eye from Kim Jong Un)
    2) declare democracy
    3) foster and fund entrepreneurship for the now freed people.
    4) pour in aid and supplies to get the people on their feet, and pour in education to help them manage their new businesses
    5) ask SK to negotiate reunion
    6) watch a reunited Korea trade internationally, act peacefully under democracy, and become an ally to the US.
    The problem: America has the resources to stop KJU and free so many people, but those with the power just look the other way as they sit on their money, buy designer clothes, and argue whether vaccines cause autism while using demeaning language to describe Autistics like myself. They won’t even make legislation against the ways I get treated unfairly. I’m still waiting on neurodemographic equal rights here in the states. They have them in Canada:(

  • Gus Sfakianos
    Gus Sfakianos 17 hours ago

    North Korea does 90% of its trade with China. If they stopped n Korea would be finished immediately. So it’s safe to say China controls them and wouldn’t be an issue anymore. China will be the reason for ww3

  • Ieró̱ny mos
    Ieró̱ny mos Day ago

    Typical western arrogance. The title says it all. Why can’t you leave them in peace? 🙁 What assholary!!

  • Alan Wayne
    Alan Wayne Day ago

    I haven't even watched the video and you already ROASTED their economy, LOL

  • Sam E
    Sam E 2 days ago

    So elon musk is richer than north Korea?

  • Seven
    Seven 4 days ago

    You know it's bad when EE calls you're economy pathetic

  • Karan Singh
    Karan Singh 5 days ago

    Highly biased analysis. You didn’t took into account the crippling sanctions which can destroy any economy.

  • kd1s
    kd1s 6 days ago

    One other little thing about North Korea. When South Korea started exceeding the North's economy is that anyone in North Korea with the wherewithal to get the hell out did. So what you essentially have left is the dullards. It explains why they're having lots of trouble with building missiles etc. And there was story a few years ago of a North Korean soldier on the DMZ who came south - he was infested with parasites. And to see what really happened - pull up one of NASA's night time maps it shows South Korea lit up like the proverbial Christmas Tree, while the north has a little tiny dot of light that is Pyonyang. I mean come on son, if you can't get electricity right is there really any hope?

  • Brandon Mccomas
    Brandon Mccomas 7 days ago

    If the idiot north Korean people would wake up they could easily over throw rocket man. Just takes one general who has the baking of his soldiers and boom he's now in power. I'd over throw that man if I was a major military player there

  • Eric adolphus
    Eric adolphus 7 days ago +2

    Not bad considering literally the entire world refuses to trade with it

    SAINTSEBASXX 7 days ago +1

    The idea that this “North Korea” thing will peacefully blow over is a joke.
    they keep getting their way and eventually they’ll strike just to try and prove the world something.

      SAINTSEBASXX 5 days ago

      Ethan Steel I’m not even saying they’ll use nukes, I’m saying since they keep trying to bully other nations into doing their bidding, eventually they’ll get ballsy and do something stupid cause they’ll think they have authority. Could be gas attacks or any other means to try and prove themselves superior. All I’m saying is a bully doesn’t stop until he gets the shit beat out of him.

    • Ethan Steel
      Ethan Steel 5 days ago

      Blackmail only works as long as it isn't used. The second they use their nukes they will be destroyed. But until then they can keep on pressuring nation's to get their way.

  • rayquaxas77
    rayquaxas77 7 days ago

    What is the building at 5.23 ?

  • polkunus
    polkunus 8 days ago

    This video is extremely disingenuous. South korea received an immense amount of foreign aid from America for the same reason the russians had: To promote their political agenda. The US also i\ planted of dictators in S.K. which suppressed, and massacred descenters of the nation. It didn't grow on its own, there were straight up puppets like syngman rhee installed by the US government that massacred students and protests to authoritative industrialists inspired by imperial Japan like park chung hee that backed the US in the vietnam war.

  • OscarTheAmazing
    OscarTheAmazing 10 days ago

    you're going to be nuked

  • TonyZ
    TonyZ 12 days ago

    Okay, lets see how your life/economy would be, if I would cut you off from power, food, water, going to work, earning money and many other stuff. Ridiculous shit.

  • Joseph Hewitt
    Joseph Hewitt 12 days ago

    Um the federal budget isn't anywhere near 50% military spending. Most federal spending is on healthcare and social security. The military may be close to half of discretionary spending but that is a far cry from the whole budget.

  • hew
    hew 13 days ago +1

    i can’t be the only one who starts to feel a bit sick when they see a hammer & sickle

  • Nunya Bidniz
    Nunya Bidniz 14 days ago

    Audio? Still super quiet w/ setting maxed. I'll come back one you've fixed it...

  • shingshongshamalama
    shingshongshamalama 14 days ago

    America also covered all of South Korea's military defense costs since the war. That is a not-insignificant sum of money that SK didn't have to pay for itself.
    Also gotta love the "well shit, command economy isn't work. I know, let's try capitalism!" And that just exacerbates the wealth inequality while also opening your economy up to foreign exploitation by multinationals. Big brain plays from the dumbass in chief.

    • Authomat
      Authomat 13 days ago

      @shingshongshamalama Why do you think I view this strictly black and white? I think everything I said is based on reality and while I'm not a fan of Communism, I'm also not really a fan of FREE market economy, just of market economy. You know, you can regulate things or redistribute atleast, if you can't come up with effective rules. A few things can even and should be the planned part of an economy, like water, electricity, education, puplic transportation and the like, but only because society can't function without them and there's no real way for those things to grow and generate more revenue. I'm not an American, I'm an European, we've realized that we have to regulate capitalism to fight it's negative side effects, just like china has realized it needs capitalism to become rich.

    • shingshongshamalama
      shingshongshamalama 13 days ago

      @Authomat You're doing that thing that people do. You're assuming a strictly binary dichotomy that doesn't exist.
      But, I would point out, fascist economic centralism and capitalism go very well together. In the sense that they make the elite few tons of money while costing thousands or even millions of lives and ruining the economy beneath them.

    • Authomat
      Authomat 13 days ago

      @shingshongshamalama Never said anything about "unregulated", which doesn't even exist, or laissez-faire. And NK definetively didn't crashh, noooooo. Well, the thing is, crashed market economies are still bigger than planned economies and also regenerate faster, for example, the crashed weimar republic had still more than double the gdp per capita of the soviet union at the time and recored while the SU kept on being more or less a thirld-world country. But ok, Planned economies are less prone to destabilizing, thing is, noone, except party members profits of them anyways, so why even care about their stability?

    • shingshongshamalama
      shingshongshamalama 13 days ago

      @Authomat Indeed they do. They also tend to do this weird thing called "crash" a lot when you make the idiotic assumption that laissez-faire capitalism can somehow magically support itself unregulated.

    • Authomat
      Authomat 13 days ago

      As if NK isn't exploited by it's own government. Also, market economies grow way faster than planned economies.

  • Jason-gray B
    Jason-gray B 14 days ago +1

    This Vid. Started off ok..
    but utterly missed the real issue here.
    since c.1988, N. Korea has placed practically ALL OF THEIR national resources into military assets... i.e. Nuclear Bomb.
    They've systematically and grossly starved their own people, simple peasants, to death;
    instituted Gulags and Forced-Labor "re-education camps"; They have Potempkin shopping malls.
    One full-on Big-Lie Regime.
    For NOTHING.
    SO THAT A PETTY, SNOT-NOSED MURDEROUS TYRANT. ("Mocoso" (brat), can implement his suffering unspeakable, on his fat-ass whim.
    N. Korea is a Police/Gestapo State, and one can only hope the Ruling Kim-Psychopaths meet some kind of justice, IN THIS world
    ("The Hague", maybe?)
    N. Korea have been shrewd, however, in acquiring nukes.
    And Missiles.
    Something MUST BE DONE... And after 50 years, it's clear the solution will NOT be diplomatic.
    I would say that outside of ISIS, N. KOREA IS THE LAST FULLY ROGUE STATE. The Worst.
    I'm glad I am not the one tasked with this One Real threat to Our tenuous Global Geo-political stale-mate.

  • FudgeNuts
    FudgeNuts 15 days ago

    3:01 when you infect people with your yawn.

  • Dimo
    Dimo 15 days ago

    White Europeans/Americans should never talk about human rights violations in other countries. Your whole civilization is built on ethnic cleansing, murder, slavery and disregard for human rights. North Korea is a sovereign nation not controlled by the West and for that alone I respect them.

  • Phoenixesper1
    Phoenixesper1 16 days ago

    Half way through tis video about north korea, a youtube ad came on and I sh*t you not.... it was for the Trump store selling various bath and life style trump branded products.... Jesus christ I do believe the youtube algorythim is now sentient! LMFAO!

  • Michael Kummer
    Michael Kummer 17 days ago

    dummy, south Korea was dictatorship, also a centrally planed economy.. and still partially it is..

    • Authomat
      Authomat 13 days ago

      @Michael Kummer Yeah, South Korea is like the USA in late 19th Century and to some degree today; the Industry and rich families control the state, shitty labour conditions, basically human rights violations by businesowners, etc. . But that's still different from the state controlling the economy or do you really think we can't make a distinction between the economic systems of east-bloc states/north korea and south korea?

    • Michael Kummer
      Michael Kummer 13 days ago

      ALL TVclip TITLES...
      South Korean Riot Police Training
      South Korean Riot Police Training surpressing riot situations. Not quite sure when this was taken but pretty sure it was
      S.Korea - Protesting Students Riot Over Doo-Hwan
      Students demanding the immediate arrest of former president Chun Doo-hwan clashed violently with riot police ...
      South Korea: Students And Riot Police Clash At College Campus - 1996
      Korean/Nat Thousands of South Korean riot police have stormed a Seoul college campus to break up a rally outlawed by

    • Michael Kummer
      Michael Kummer 13 days ago

      @Authomat A chaebol (/ˈtʃeɪbɒl, ˈdʒɛbəl/;[1][2] Korean: [tɕɛ̝.bʌl] (About this soundlisten)) is a large industrial conglomerate that is run and controlled by an owner or family in South Korea.[2] A chaebol often consists of many diversified affiliates, controlled by an owner whose power over the group often exceeds legal authority.[3] The term is often used in a context similar to that of the English word "conglomerate".[citation needed] The term was derived from the Japanese zaibatsu, sharing a similar structure and origins. It was first used in English in 1984.[2] Several dozen large South Korean family-controlled corporate groups fall under this definition.

      The chaebol have also played a significant role in South Korean politics. In 1988, a member of a chaebol family, Chung Mong-joon, president of Hyundai Heavy Industries, successfully ran for the National Assembly of South Korea. Other business leaders also were chosen to be members of the National Assembly through proportional representation. Hyundai has made efforts to contribute to the thawing North Korean and South Korean relations, but not without controversy.[4] Many South Korean family-run chaebols have been criticized for low dividend payouts and other governance practices that favor controlling shareholders at the expense of ordinary investors.[5]

    • Michael Kummer
      Michael Kummer 13 days ago

      "Was Park Chung-hee a dictator? - The Korea Times › www › opinion › 2018/12
      Jul 31, 2017 - Park Chung-hee, in short, was a dictator. Particularly following the downfall of his daughter Park Geun-hye, this seems to be the dominant ...

    • Authomat
      Authomat 13 days ago

      @Michael Kummer The Keyword is "centrally", not planned. It's definetively a planned part of the economy, but to say the economy is a planned one is incorrect. I mean, pretty much every economy, even victorian england, has had some kind of planned part, at least security (police, military), which would mean that by your logic, market economies don't even exist and there is no distinction. But a distinction is obviously usefull and South Korea has never had a planned economy like North Korea.

  • Thelovely Redbones
    Thelovely Redbones 18 days ago

    Much like the Berlin wall. I hope the wall between North and South Korea comes down during my lifetime. I hope to see North and South Koreans come together and have parties and drink the night away in unity. Having friends and families reunited will be something our more divided world needs...

    Too bad we have a bunch of unhinged childeren incharge of our governments atm... :\

  • Metal Bum
    Metal Bum 20 days ago

    Lol. What a communist failure. Shows socialism and communism don’t work when fully implemented.

  • Icids Ang
    Icids Ang 20 days ago

    The only reason why North Korea's economy is bad is because of US and UN sanctions. They have a lot of natural resources which they can't sell. Can't blame North Korea if America is sabotaging them.

  • Tahir Hakeem
    Tahir Hakeem 20 days ago +2

    So NK wouldn't had to spend so much on Military that collapsed their economy if US hadn't threaten them for being communist? I see which country is the problem now...

  • Cat
    Cat 20 days ago

    Your sound sucks

  • Jordan Francis
    Jordan Francis 20 days ago

    You have made too many mistakes in this. I'd deleted it and redo if i were you...

  • Craven Silver
    Craven Silver 20 days ago +3

    Imagine how fast humans would advance if all money went to medicine, technology etc

    • Marcus Carvalho
      Marcus Carvalho 16 days ago

      Considering that most of the techonologies we have today were developed because military conflicts or threats, I would say that humans would advance very slowly.

  • Craven Silver
    Craven Silver 20 days ago

    There are singular people worth more than countries lmao

  • Andrik Cazares
    Andrik Cazares 20 days ago

    United Nations doesn’t know anything about human rights violations, they have wildly oppressive countries on human rights boards. They should boycott Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia if they actually cared about the well being of humans, but they don’t 🤷🏽‍♂️

  • Andrik Cazares
    Andrik Cazares 20 days ago

    Surprised you weren’t sympathetic to this communist paradise.

  • Aethel Wulf
    Aethel Wulf 21 day ago

    and yet north korea is a warfare power
    with the most submarines of all nations in the world
    and a huge arsenal of bio weapons

  • John Ruddy
    John Ruddy 21 day ago +1

    Blockades, sanctions and an aggressive army on its border. That’ll explain a lot.

  • Luciano Matias
    Luciano Matias 21 day ago

    What hould North Koreans do if this and other vídeos about their country were available there?

  • pdogpearson
    pdogpearson 21 day ago

    Who would've thought that a centrally planned economy blew up, whilst it's capitalist neighbour continued to grow. Stay clear of parties that want to excessively raise taxes and re-structure economies to 'increase your living standards'; it's just an empty promise that will lead to mismanagement and recession.

  • Dennis Daniel
    Dennis Daniel 21 day ago

    How much did america pay you to make this? Filthy capitalist.

  • David Capobianco
    David Capobianco 21 day ago +1

    The United States spends 50% of its budget on military. Where did you get this number? Could you link some sources? I looked it up and it's actually only 14%.

  • Fred Nerk
    Fred Nerk 21 day ago

    The Korean war did not end in 1953. They simply agreed a cease-fire, which still continues.

  • Fred Smurf
    Fred Smurf 21 day ago

    It is impossible to say a communist economy was "better" at any time anywhere. The command economy may have been producing concrete slabs and piling them up. There might have accidentally even been some desirable production. We just don't know. Clearly you do not understand economics. I would recommend Henry Hazlett or Ludwig von Mises.

  • ryan florian
    ryan florian 21 day ago

    are you blind or just ignorant?
    Seoul has the longest working hours world wide
    south korea is the worst place to live
    you are literally a slave if you live in south korea
    The survey ranked Seoul residents only 32nd out of 32 in wages per working hours. Using New York's salary level of 100 as the benchmark, Seoul had a score of a mere 44. Tokyo led Asia in salary at 18th with 78 points. Topping the list, meanwhile, were the northern European cities of Copenhagen and Oslo.
    it's more expensive to live in south korea than what it cost to live in new York
    literally the most impossible place to live in the US
    if you want to argue best place to live use Germany
    20 hours of work a week pays for a house kids everything

  • FW911
    FW911 22 days ago +1

    6:05 Advertisement for Saints Row 3. Wow, this is some old stock footage.

  • swahil kid
    swahil kid 22 days ago

    Really this what Western countries said about sadaam husain, muamar gaddafi and many other leaders who didn't want accept the imperial agendas, we already saw all these countries which they claimed people are mistrited by their government after they invented them they impoverished those people to point that most of those people start fleeing to others countries they kill and bomb all the infrastructure which took those countries yours to build

  • Kim Jong-un
    Kim Jong-un 22 days ago +1

    Why do you lie? Also, why is there an Orange Man commercial on this video?

  • Calvin McMurray
    Calvin McMurray 22 days ago

    Imagine how much better things would be in Vietnam if they didn't get brainwashed into communism.

  • john Thatcher
    john Thatcher 22 days ago

    North Korea only exists because It is advantageous to China

  • bluemoondiadochi
    bluemoondiadochi 22 days ago +10

    I'm dissapointed you didnt mention:
    1. donju class. you kind of hinted at them, but didnt even mention them.
    2. there are two economies in NK; the "court" economy (foreign currency for weapons and luxuries for party officials), and the "department" economy (or national, centrally planned economy).
    3. there IS an improvement in living standard, at least in Pyongyang, over the last years.
    4. NK has an extensive network of international activities, from smuggling weapons, to money laundering, etc. which is an important source of foreign exchange.
    Without mentioning this no NK economy review is complete, in my opinion.

    • Sam E
      Sam E 2 days ago

      bluemoondiadochi ok boomer

  • Jayden Farano
    Jayden Farano 22 days ago +76

    North Korea: **Resorts to capitalism to fix economy**
    Capitalism: "You could not live with your own failure. And where did that bring you? Back to me."

    • Cameron Gooch
      Cameron Gooch 2 days ago

      Dread it, run from it, it is inevitable.

    • David Meehan
      David Meehan 10 days ago +4

      All human societies implode anyway because there is no economic system capable of managing the environmental impact of 20th century technology.
      THE END.

    • Chippos maximus
      Chippos maximus 12 days ago +1

      @al dajjal shah e dunya except they arent socialist

    • al dajjal shah e dunya
      al dajjal shah e dunya 21 day ago +15

      US: *implements socialist policies to keep itself from imploding*
      Socialism: *smiles in peace*
      Capitalism: *TRIGGERED*

  • Ragnar Danneskjold
    Ragnar Danneskjold 22 days ago

    Thankfully we have Trump finally standing up to them.

    • Bartonovich52
      Bartonovich52 20 days ago +1

      Lol... whut?
      They aren’t the ones crossing the globe terrorizing other nations.

  • Johny Something
    Johny Something 22 days ago

    1.1k dislikes... pretty much the higher ups of North Korea

    AKA: the only people who have real internet there

  • illegit
    illegit 22 days ago

    Make it louder. Cool video

  • Mr. Total Disappointment.

    *Deficit: Military Upkeep too high!*

  • Supreme Snek
    Supreme Snek 22 days ago

    We beat Communism back in 1991. China is just playing pretend and North Korea well... I just feel sorry for it now.

    • Lucio Yuen
      Lucio Yuen 22 days ago

      man if only you guys could have pushed harder and defeat North Korea for real back in the Korean war... but yeah China really fucked it up.

  • Allan Desmond
    Allan Desmond 23 days ago +1

    Socialist slaughter everyone everywhere equally..

    • Bartonovich52
      Bartonovich52 20 days ago

      Hmm... in Norway where life expectancy and quality of life is the highest in the world?
      bUt ThAtS nOt SoCiAlIsM... tHeY aRe A fReE mArKeT eCoNoMy WiTh StRoNg SoCiAl PoLiCiEs!1!!1!!1!!!
      Then let’s adopt those policies.
      *nO tHaTs SoCiAlIsM!!!1!!1!!!1!*

  • qwegergtdf
    qwegergtdf 23 days ago


  • Notification Email
    Notification Email 23 days ago

    the only best korea.

  • Akshay attri
    Akshay attri 23 days ago +1

    north korea still looks better than situation of poverty in india. yet its gdp per capita is lower than india

  • Voltage90e
    Voltage90e 23 days ago

    Vote Trump or this will be us.