North Korea leveraging its location to geopolitical, financial advantage

An aerial view of the East Siberian Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline on Oct. 2, 2010. Reuters/Jessica Bachman

North Korea is maximizing its geopolitical leverage to boost competitions among neighboring China, Russia and South Korea, which could provide massive economic benefits but threaten the fate of the isolated nation.

North Korea, which occupies the northern half of the Korean peninsula, blocks all land routes to its arch rival and prosperous South Korea. Without passing the North’s territory, the South could not reach the Trans-Siberian railway through which it could deliver products to Europe, the second-biggest market for Seoul, a route that avoids the piracy-plagued Straits of Malacca.


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