North Korea Abolishes Laws on Economic Cooperation with South

  • 09 Feb 2024

On 8th February, 2024, North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly, the country's rubber-stamp parliament, unanimously voted to abolish laws related to economic cooperation with South Korea. This move reflects the deteriorating relations between the two neighbours.

Key Points

  • Deep Freeze in Relations: Inter-Korean ties have been strained, with Pyongyang focusing on accelerating its weapons development programs and Seoul enhancing military cooperation with Washington and Tokyo. Significant inter-Korean economic projects have remained suspended for years.
  • Scrapping Economic Cooperation Laws: The decision includes abolishing the law on inter-Korean economic cooperation and a special law governing the Mount Kumgang tourism project, once a symbol of collaboration between the two Koreas.
  • Mount Kumgang Tourism Project: The Mount Kumgang resort, established by South Korea's Hyundai Asan, was a popular destination attracting numerous visitors from the South. However, tours ceased in 2008 after a North Korean soldier fatally shot a South Korean tourist.
  • International Sanctions Concerns: Restarting tourism activities could provide North Korea with much-needed revenue but may violate international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.
  • Implications: The decision to abolish laws on economic cooperation further underscores the deepening rift between North and South Korea, with prospects for inter-Korean engagement remaining uncertain amidst geopolitical tensions and international sanctions.