Battle of the Pygmies

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With the recent visit by Russian President Putin to North Korea, concern has been expressed about the recent defence pack made between those two countries.1 Both nations hold nuclear weapons and both are unstable and unpredictable.

Art, Painting, Sepia Tones
Cranes and Pygmies

Yet, these are both small countries, as measured by GDP:

(Billions US$)
North Korea48Bank of (south) Korea (2023) [3] [7]
Samsung53Sales by Samsung (2024) [4]
Toronto GTA270Toronto City (2023) [1]
Ontario730Wikipedia (2022) [6]
Russia2,240World Bank (2022) [2]
Texas2,600Wikipeadia (2023) [5]

They clearly punch above their weight, or maybe we are in fact punching well below ours? If North Korea can have nukes why can’t Toronto or Ontario? Certainly Texas should be eligible, especially given it’s larger than Russia.


  1. Putin and Kim Jong-un Sign Pact in North Korea – The New York Times ↩︎


[1] City of Toronto. 2017. “Toronto at a Glance.”

[2] “GDP (Current US$) – Russian Federation.” n.d. World Bank Open Data. Accessed June 23, 2024.

[3] “North Korea GDP vs South Korea GDP 2022.” n.d. Statista. Accessed June 23, 2024.

[4] “Samsung Electronics Announces First Quarter 2024 Results.” n.d. Accessed June 23, 2024.

[5] Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. n.d. “Texas.” Accessed June 23, 2024.

[6] Wikipedia contributors. 2024a. “List of Canadian Provinces and Territories by Gross Domestic Product.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. April 20, 2024.

[7] ———. 2024b. “Economy of North Korea.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. June 19, 2024.


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