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I know the phrase means in general, but I am confused by it in the following sentence.

"North Korea is the only country that sticks with strict communism, but they are too isolated to be a test case for an economic system.

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  • Could you please specify what exactly about this sentence confuses you? Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 18:14

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See test case:

a case that, after its determination, is likely to be used as a precedent.

In your example, meaning even if their economic system were successful, it probably could not be duplicated elsewhere because their isolationist policies don't exist elsewhere.

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