10/2 North Korea Economic Forum: Special Public Webinar “Supply and Demand of Refined Oil Product in North Korea”

Speaker: David von Hippel

Friday, October 2, 2020

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Virtual Event via Zoom

This event is on the record and open to the public.


Program (PDF)

Event Description

North Korea’s energy situation has been one of the most debated topics among North Korea watchers since the tough U.N. sanctions were imposed in 2017 and 2018. Despite the tight sanctions on North Korea’s oil imports, North Korea seems to have figure out its coping mechanism to prevent serious disruptions to their economy. What are the measures taken by North Korea to offset oil supply restrictions? How can we connect the dots between North Korea’s oil supply and demand? Please join the North Korea Economic Forum of the GW Institute for Korean Studies for an online discussion on the challenges for North Korea’s energy sector and their coping mechanism.


David von Hippel is an independent consultant and Nautilus Institute Senior Associate based in Eugene, Oregon. His work with Nautilus has centered on energy and environmental issues in Asia, and particularly in Northeast Asia. He has been involved in several projects, including an ongoing multi-nation Regional Energy Security Project for Nautilus Institute, centered around energy paths analysis, and the related East Asia Science and Security Network and follow-on projects that focused on potential nuclear materials issues in the region. He has done extensive analyses of the patterns of fuels use and prospects for energy efficiency and energy sector redevelopment in North Korea, and is currently preparing an update to an Energy Sector Analysis for that country. Dr. von Hippel holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Energy and Resources from the University of California-Berkeley, and M.A. and B.S. degrees from the University of Oregon


Daniel Wertz is the Program Manager at the National Committee on North Korea (NCNK), where he has worked since 2011. Wertz manages research and publications at NCNK, and is also the lead researcher and editor of North Korea in the World, an interactive website exploring North Korea’s external economic and diplomatic relations. He also serves as Chair of the Steering Committee of George Washington University’s North Korea Economic Forum. Prior to working at NCNK, Wertz was a research assistant at the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Wertz received master’s degrees in International and World History in a joint program from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree in History from Wesleyan University.


Celeste Arrington is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at GW. She specializes in comparative politics, with a regional focus on the Koreas and Japan. Her research and teaching focus on law and social movements, the media, lawyers, policy processes, historical justice, North Korean human rights, and qualitative methods. She is also interested in the international relations and security of Northeast Asia and transnational activism. She is the author of Accidental Activists: Victims and Government Accountability in South Korea and Japan (2016) and has published in Comparative Political Studies, Law & Society Review, Journal of East Asian Studies, Pacific Affairs, Asian Survey, and the Washington Post, among others. She received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and an A.B. from Princeton University. She is currently writing a book that analyzes the role of lawyers and legal activism in Japanese and Korean policies related to persons with disabilities and tobacco control.

North Korea Economic Forum Background

The North Korea Economic Forum (NKEF) is part of policy program at the George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies (GWIKS). The Forum aims to promote the understanding of North Korean economic issues, distribute the well-balanced, deeply touched, and multi-dimensionally explored pictures of North Korean economy and to expand the network among the various North Korean economy watchers. The Forum is mostly a closed and off-the-record meeting where participants can freely and seriously discuss the critical issues. Mr. Daniel Wertz is currently the chair of the NKEF and is leading the meetings. It also organizes special conferences made public throughout the academic year. The Forum is made possible by a generous grant provided by the KDI School of Public Policy and Management.


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