From the MoneyBeat blog of WSJ: (Link)
Digging North Korea
“Roger Barrett’s Korea Business Consultants sounds like another firm to help investors navigate South Korea. But for anyone who stumbled into Mr. Barrett’s presentation at the annual Mines and Money conference in Hong Kong this week, it turned out the attraction was North Korea."
Mr. Barrett, a Briton, insists on calling the North by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and speaks of its natural-resource opportunities. He is executive director of a gold mining firm there.Beside the prospect of gold in them thar North Korean hills, what of the inconveniences of dealing with a country variously described as a Stalinist state and hermit kingdom?"
Mr. Barrett says there are now lots of 'markets, motors, money,' in the North. 'Occasionally sanctions get in the way, but not generally,' he said. Anyway, Mr. Barrett predicted 'significant overtures for peace next year.' Plus, he said, 'there’s no significant starvation anymore.' Displaying a photo of brightly-lit buildings, he said foreigners who live there now call Pyongyang 'Dubai.' What more could an investor ask for?"