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North Korea’s Economic Catastrophe

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The North Korean economy is one of the most isolated on earth and still relies on heavy industry and military spending — in addition to huge amounts of food and fuel aid. Experts on the Hermit Kingdom base their understanding on a mix of theories, scattered anecdotes from defectors — and scant hard facts. In terms of per capita GDP — $1,800 — North Korea is East Asia’s poorest country. But we know little about the country’s black markets. And we struggle to find accurate statistics on the nation’s true standard of living. Martin Savidge hosts Barbara Demick and Leon Sigal.

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