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North Korea

Ranked 17 of 26 for comprehensive power, with an overall score of 10.6 out of 100.

Lost 0.8 points (−7% change) in overall score in 2023.


North Korea is a middle power in Asia.

Its overall score declined by 0.8 points compared to 2021, driven by declines in its military capability, resilience, and diplomatic influence.

North Korea’s weakest measures are its economic relationships and cultural influence, where it places last for both, a result of its isolation from the broader region. Its strongest measure continues to be its military capability, where it ranks eighth.

However, future resources represents its biggest decline, with North Korea dropping three places over the past year. By contrast, North Korea’s second strongest measure, resilience, increased in 2022, a result of continued investment in its nuclear deterrent capability.

Despite access to nuclear weapons, North Korea exerts less influence in the region than expected given its available resources. Its negative power gap remained roughly the same as in the previous edition.

Read more analysis in the Key Findings report. Explore further results in the Scores section.

Bilateral Influence

Bilateral trade, current dollars (2020)

Countries that influence North Korea

Globally, which countries does North Korea do most of its trade with?

China 68.5%

Russia 5.4%

Myanmar 2.7%

Serbia 2.4%

Dominican Republic 2.1%

Countries influenced by North Korea

Which countries in the region rely most on trade with North Korea?

No data.