North Korea Trumps its Way Up

The Passport Index gives its insights on the influence of passport powers following the North Korea-USA Summit in Singapore. 


A historic first meeting between the leader of one of the world’s most powerful passports, Donald J. Trump, and the leader of one of the world’s weakest, (and most controversial) passports, Kim Jong-Un, has allowed the world to consider a new-age era that looks to embrace opportunity in unity. 

Considering the North Korea-USA Summit, The Passport Index initially investigated the stark differences between the two neighboring countries: North and South Korea. 

Using the Compare Passports tool in The Passport Index, we studied both passports, and discovered how reflective their rankings were in light of their nation’s social standing. 

South Korea, one of the world’s most powerful passports, held a visa-free score of 162, while North Korea held a mere 41. 

Historically, travel in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has become obsolete. Although North Korea’s passport holds visa waivers for 41 nations, its citizens most likely never had a chance to visit any of them. 

Although it is not entirely known to what extent government officials control their citizens in the DPRK, there is enough evidence to conclude that North Koreans are not allowed to leave their country and are not even allowed to travel between cities without a special permit.  

With this in mind, we are left wondering if any of this might change after the epoch-making summit that looks to improving the nation’s long held hostility. 

Reflective of Kim Jong-un’s initiative to help regain global trust, allowing freedom of mobility to its 25 million citizens might be the first step. As the new social, economic, political, and cultural benchmark, we can only anticipate for the North Korean dictator to become obsessed with vastly improving his country’s Visa-Free Score. 

Additionally, with talks of a united Korea, the duos passport ranking might actually Trump the world’s most powerful ranking.  

What do you think, is this a stepping stone for North Korea’s journey up the social ladder? 

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