Injuries in the DPRK: The Looming Epidemic

Ramon Pacheco Pardo
Kee B. Park
Maximilian Ernst
Eliana Kim
Mass casualty incidents such as building collapses and bus crashes are perhaps just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the injury burden in the DPRK – only the worst cases of injury are highlighted in the media. Current economic and geopolitical developments within and surrounding the DPRK point towards more future activity in sectors such as construction, traffic, and tourism. Thus, it is not unreasonable to anticipate a surge in accidents and injuries inside the DPRK. In this context, it is necessary to understand the North Korean healthcare system and its needs to be able to deal with the current and anticipated injury burden.

In this study, we seek to assess the current burden of traumatic injuries in the DPRK and analyze the injury care capacity in place to manage them. Furthermore, we also estimate the projected surge in injuries in the DPRK and its economic consequences in the near future. Finally, we propose a road map for multilateral assistance for strengthening the injury care system in the DPRK.