DPRK allegedly extends overseas rotations for trade officials

According to Radio Free Asia:

Businessmen in China told RFA’s Korean Service that until recently, the North’s leadership had largely kept to its rule of allowing trade officials to work abroad only once during their tenure as part of an effort to limit exposure to the outside world.

“The [practice of] ‘revolving door personnel allocation’ is prevalent in North Korea,” said one merchant surnamed Li from the city of Dandong in northeastern China’s Liaoning province, which is located on the border between the two countries.

But he said that an increasing number of North Koreans who had just recently returned from assignments in China were being sent to the neighboring country again in an official capacity.

“A North Korean trade representative who had worked in Dandong five years ago returned [to China] as a representative working in Beijing, which was surprising,” Li said, adding that he had never encountered a North Korean official who had served in the country on more than one occasion.

Another Chinese merchant surnamed Wang, who is currently living in North Korea, confirmed that more officials were being sent to China multiple times.

“Recently there are an increasing number of North Korean representatives who have repeatedly been dispatched abroad, although they are working in regions different from those where they had previously been posted,” Wang said.

One source suggested that Pyongyang may be continuing to rely on officials who have already served abroad in order to leverage their existing experience dealing with China’s trade sector.

He said that when the North Korean government requires an urgent trade agreement, it has become more willing to use officials with experience because training new personnel would be too time-intensive.

But another source said that the prompt resolution of trade negotiations is not the regime’s driving motive behind redeploying officials abroad.

“It’s not because the North Korean government needs an urgent resolution to trade matters, but simply because the officials who have previously worked abroad are lobbying so hard to be re-dispatched,” the source said.

Read the full story here:
North Korea Redeploying Officials
Radio Free Asia
Joon Ho Kim


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