Egypt has been set on fire, but in Pyongyang it’s still business as usual. An odd comparison, but consider this: an earnest, bilateral relationship that was cemented during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which saw North Korea supply strategies, pilots, and fighter jets to Egypt, blossomed into highly profitable trade between the two countries that continues to this day. It wasn’t long after the war that Egypt’s air force commander, Chief Mubarak, scratched Kim Il Sung’s back with a fat SCUD missile, simultaneously opening the Middle East for thirty years of missile trade and hard currency imports with the DPRK.
With such excessive and enabling ties, it’s quizzical that Pyongyang remains in business with Cairo after the fall of Mubarak’s empire, and yet so it is. The largest employer in Egypt, Orascom Group, is also still heavily entrenched in North Korea’s economy. Although Orascom gained a degree of notoriety in 2008 when it resumed construction of Pyongyang’s failed monstrosity, it is Orascom’s investment in telecommunications that may represent the next generation of North...More >>