2010 Meeting

DPRK Energy and Minerals Working Group Meeting

September 21 and 22, 2010

Beijing, China

Meeting funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The New Land Foundation, Ploughshares Fund, and MacArthur Foundation supported related work that feeds into this workshop.


Energy insecurity is a critical dimension of the North Korean (DPRK) nuclear challenge, both in its making, and in its reversal. One of the Six-Party Talks working groups, the Economy and Energy Working Group, is largely devoted to this topic, and energy assistance will play an important role in the process of denuclearization of the DPRK. Nautilus Institute maintains a unique database and set of quantitative and qualitative analytic tools to evaluate and track the DPRK’s energy economy, and has maintained working relations with North Korean scientists and technical personnel from the energy sector for more than a decade. With this capacity, Nautilus has provided a stream of policy analyses and briefings at their request to US, ROK and other officials on the DPRK’s energy needs, its likely negotiating postures and demands, and possible negotiable options. The need for such expertise in support of the Six-Party Talks is increasing.

This project ensures that the underlying data and technical analysis available at Nautilus is as up-to-date as possible, and that analysis and policy advice are available when needed by US and other officials.

DPRK Energy and Minerals Working Group Meeting 2010: This activity is updating the DPRK database and related analysis by compiling the latest data from a wide array of sources, including DPRK announcements and analyses, input from experts who work in or visit the DPRK on energy issues, and elsewhere, in a consistent physical framework for accounting for supply and demand over time, and forecasting future supply and demand levels based on different underlying drivers of DPRK energy economy. The basis from which the update will be prepared is the Nautilus report Fueling DPRK Energy Futures and Energy Security: 2005 Energy Balance, Engagement Options, and Future Paths, completed in 2007 and incorporating input from the first and second DPRK Energy Experts Working Group Meetings held in 2006 and 2008. This database underlies all Nautilus’ research and policy analysis on the DPRK’s energy economy, and due to the nature of the underlying algorithms and coefficients that enable us to partly dissolve the granite curtain of opacity in the DPRK, it is essential that the database be updated regularly.

The first day of the meeting was a private event where people with detailed knowledge of or experience with the DPRK energy or minerals sectors presented. The second day of the meeting hosted a delegation from the DPRK (who did not attend on the first day) who presented on their mineral sector development plans and then contributed to other presentation on energy and mineral development, environmental issues, and safety standards.

The meeting was co-hosted by the Beijing Energy Training Center at Tsinghua University and was funded by the US Department of Energy.

If you have any questions about this project please contact scott@nautilus.org.