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North Korea

Ranked 17 of 26 for comprehensive power, with an overall score of 11.5 out of 100.

Lost 0.8 points (−7% change) in overall score in 2021.


North Korea is a middle power in Asia.

Its overall score declined by 0.8 points compared to 2020. The country’s fall in relative power is driven largely by a drop of 5 points in the diplomatic influence measure.

North Korea’s best performance continues to be in military capability, where it is placed 6th. Its lowest rankings are in the economic relationships and cultural influence measures, coming in at 26th place for both, reflecting the country’s economic and cultural isolation from the broader region.

Despite access to nuclear weapons, North Korea exerts less influence in the region than expected given its available resources. Its negative power gap further deteriorated in 2021.

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 64.4%

Ethiopia 8.6%

Russia 4.9%

Dominican Republic 2.0%

Suriname 1.9%

Countries influenced by North Korea

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

No data.