The Kim Jong Un regime, like his father’s, has repeatedly emphasized building a socialist rule-of-law state. In accordance with this objective, North Korea has devoted great attention to making and amending laws. There were 205 known North Korean laws when Kim Jong Un assumed power in December 2011; this number had increased to 236 by December 2015, and 106 laws are known to have been revised during this period.
North Korea is notorious, however, for its secrecy and its laws are no exception. The North’s last known published compilation of laws occurred in December 2015, and very little reliable or comprehensive information is available about the enactment or revision of its legislation over the past five years. Given the legislative record from 2011-2015, it is reasonable to presume that roughly 150 laws have either been enacted or amended since 2015, though less than a third of these have been identified (see the Appendices). That said, most of the country’s laws since the 1990s fall into two categories: those for facilitating greater economic development and ones for strengthening social controls.
Laws for Economic Development
About half the North Korean laws and regulations known to have been revised following 2016 are targeted at promoting the economy in two main areas (see Appendices).
Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade
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