Jin, H.K. and Yoon, I.J., 2021. A review of the ocean economy of North Korea: Relationship between economic status and fisheries policy. In: Lee, J.L.; Suh, K.-S.; Lee, B.; Shin, S., and Lee, J. (eds.), Crisis and Integrated Management for Coastal and Marine Safety. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 114, pp. 340–344. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
This study aims to review the ocean economy of North Korea, more specifically, the relationship between the North Korean economy and its fisheries policy, as fisheries hold a dominant position in the ocean economy. To achieve the purpose of this study, the North Korean economy and fisheries sector have been analyzed regarding policy and performance since 1953. Most materials rely on literature reviews generated by North Korea or on statistical figures estimated by South Korea. The main hypothesis of this study is that the North tends to emphasize fishing when its economic status is relatively fine, while it moves its policy focus from fishing to aquaculture when the economy goes down. Based on the analysis of the history of the North Korean economy and fisheries policy, this hypothesis was tested and examined. The DPRK government emphasized and promoted coastal and offshore fisheries in the 1970s but turned to mariculture in the 1980s when economic recession worsened. Again, the DPRK focused on inland aquaculture during the 1990s when the economy was at its lowest. In the wake of economic recovery, the DPRK fostered the fishing sector in the early and mid-2010s; however, the country has turned back to aquaculture since 2017 when the UN sanctions were tightened. As there are not many studies that address fisheries in North Korea, this study highlights their importance and implications on its economy.