Through quantitative data extracted from Lloyd's insurance group, this paper analyses the evolution of vessel movements through North Korean ports from 1985 to 2005. Results show how ongoing inter-Korean economic integration and the internal difficulties of the North Korean transport system foster North-South maritime connections. Against a backdrop of North Korean economic reforms and growing interrelations between the two Koreas, the shift of North Korean main traffic to Chinese and South Korea transit ports (hubs) illustrates changing trade relations, the contraction of North Korea's economic space, and also practices of ocean carriers, who tend to concentrate their services on the nearest ports with best infrastructure.

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Espace Geographique
Erasmus School of Economics

Ducruet, C., Gelézeau, V., & Roussin, S. (2008). North Korea's maritime connections: Territorial change on the Korean peninsula and regional dynamics in North-East Asia. Espace Geographique, 208–224. Retrieved from