Lead the North to the worldAccording to data from the Bank of Korea, South Korea had embassies in 113 different countries by late last year. Including consulate generals and consulates, the South had diplomatic missions in 143 countries. In contrast, North Korea had embassies in 24 countries, and including consulate generals and other diplomatic establishments, had diplomatic missions in 33 countries. As of 2017, the North established exclusive bilateral ties with only four nations including Syria, whereas South Korea had such ties with 32 nations.
As of 2018, North Korea was signed onto 33 international organizations including the UN. South Korea, on the other hand, was signed onto 115 organizations, including the UN, UN-affiliated organizations and other inter-governmental organizations. Most international organizations permanently stationed in North Korea are those affiliated with the UN, who are in charge of North Korean aid programs. The South, an aid-providing country, is home to various international organizations in various fields, including those affiliated with the UN, regional groups like the ASEAN-Korea Centre, the International Vaccine Institute and a regional branch of the World Bank.
There are limits to seeking North Korean economic development and internationalization through inter-Korean economic cooperative projects solely by cooperation between the two Koreas. North Korea must learn and follow international customs and norms by engaging in activities of international organizations. South Korea, for its part, should share its knowledge gained from robust experiences in the UN and other inter-governmental organizations with the North.