North Korea is wedged between a corrupt and inexperienced dictator, international sanctions, and a global nuclear crisis, propped up economically only by other communist nations. This unique political landscape has created an unexpected wave of creative entrepreneurs called “donjus” seeking to improve and stabilize their lives in one of the world’s most tumultuous countries. However, their efforts may backfire as large fractions of their companies’ profits are funneled directly into North Korea’s nuclear program.

Entrepreneurship has flourished in difficult times. Justin Hastings, an expert on North Korea at the University of Sydney, notes that “everybody in the country has to be entrepreneurial to survive.” However primitive and uncivilized this may seem, North Korea’s communist regime has recently begun to welcome foreign business consultants into the country to aid and teach small business owners about management, accounting, and trade.

Historically, these business owners and their consultants would be jailed for spreading capitalist ideologies within a communist nation, but with North Korea’s race to create nuclear weapons capable of mass destruction and real intimidation, these sentiments have disappeared. In fact, with government and external support, North Korea’s innovators have succeeded. For example, in September 2017, organizers of the Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair hosted over 250 domestic and foreign companies from nations including Syria, China, Cuba, Iran, Italy, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

Though the situation currently supports North Korea’s ambitious business community, the steady revenue entering the country’s nuclear program raises critical concerns and questions about global safety, especially in the United States. What makes this situation exponentially more difficult is the message we send by cutting back aid for North Korean businesses. While maintaining the security of the United States and the world is the most important goal, restricting support of North Korean business has a far greater implication than simply cutting ties.

For years, North Korean nationals have been suppressed by a dictatorial family, but finally, for the first time, many have gained the freedom to own and build businesses, improve their state of life and become more independent citizens. If the United States were to restrict or ban expert business knowledge from these citizens, North Koreans would be forced to fend for their financial liberty as they manage their businesses without guidance. This action would put the recently gained liberty amongst North Korean citizens at risk and contradict America’s crusade of global freedom.

In this moral dilemma, there is no right answer. How should the situation be gauged and by what unit? On human life? On the pursuit of freedom for all? On the security of the global community? Depending on the answers to each of these questions, the most beneficial outcome is different. However, above the right to freedom must be the right to life, though some may argue that life is not worth living without freedom. By this reasoning, cutting business support to North Korea is absolutely necessary in order to delay and interrupt violent nuclear progress by an unstable regime.