This year marks the 10th year since our first program in North Korea. It has been 10 difficult years marked by an incredibly tough operating environment, limited support, near-bankruptcy and political harassment. But through it all, our volunteers who help lead workshops for us in North Korea, our partners, our sponsors and our team have managed 10 years of uninterrupted programs. We are glad to see that President Donald Trump, President Moon Jae In, Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Xi Jinping have managed to orchestrate what we hope will be a breakthrough in the situation. We also hope that if a breakthrough occurs, people realize that this is just the starting point for integrating North Korea into the international system, economically, socially and politically. Calling victory at a deal and abandoning the issue will bring us back to square one.
In preparation for the Singapore Summit between Trump-Kim Jong Un (and Xi?) and in response to the media requests coming in, we have prepared a brief fact sheet on Choson Exchange and Singapore.
We thought this media fact sheet will be helpful to journalists visiting Singapore for their first time. Please send media requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Singapore & DPRK (Wikipedia)
DPRK has established an embassy in Singapore since 1975. While Singapore maintains diplomatic relations with North Korea, there are no Singaporean ambassadors accredited to the DPRK. Ex-Foreign Minister George Yeo visited North Korea in 2008. As a business hub, North Koreans have been active commercially in Singapore until recently, when Singapore complied with recent international sanctions to limit DPRK commercial activity in the country. As a transit point and a neutral and economically developed Asian country, many North Koreans have a positive impression of Singapore. Choson Exchange was able to develop its initial programs through leveraging this positive interest in Singapore's economic development.
About Choson Exchange
We conducted our first program 10 years ago (2009) with the view of promoting entrepreneurship, developing business networks and encouraging positive economic policy in the DPRK. We bring volunteers to run workshops in North Korea on these topics. We also consult on policy and bring North Koreans to Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia for training.
Our focus areas include entrepreneurship, business networking, law and economic policy.
>2000 Participants Reached Over 10 Years
We have trained 2000 Koreans directly, brought 100 of them to Singapore and estimate that we have reached over 8000 participants indirectly. We reach primarily younger to middle aged economic policymakers, special economic zone managers, academics, entrepreneurs and business managers.
Last workshop in May 2018
Our last workshop was in May 2018, having a record 130 participants in it. Our next workshop is in August 2018. We will conduct our last workshop for 2018 in November.
While we have scaled down activities in recent years because of a lack of sponsors, we have continued to do our best to maintain some programs. Our most immediate aspiration is the development of a physical startup incubator in the DPRK, building on past programs, to create a vibrant ecosystem supporting entrepreneurs in the country.