Bradley O. BabsonBradley O. Babson is a consultant on Asian affairs with a focus on Korea and Northeast Asia economic cooperation. He is retired from a career at the World Bank, with a concentration in East Asia. In the early 1990s he worked on the opening up of Vietnam and was the first World Bank Resident Representative in Hanoi, and since 1997 has studied the North Korean economy and written extensively on economic perspectives on the integration of North Korea into the international community.
Will a New South Korean Policy for Inter-Korean Relations Help or Hinder Economic Reform in North Korea?
South Korean presidential candidates Park Geun-hye, left, of the ruling Saenuri Party, Moon Jae-in, centre, of the main opposition Democratic United party and independent hopeful Ahn Cheol-soo, right, who has pulled out. (Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP) It is now clear that following the South Korean Presidential elections this week there will be a [...]
North Korea has been touting for some time that 2012 is the year it will demonstrate its credentials as a “strong and prosperous nation.” On March 17, 2012, the day after announcing its intention to launch a missile and place a satellite in orbit, the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) published new foreign investment laws for the two special [...]
At the moment of his accession to power, Kim Jong Il inherited the devastating impact of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the subsequent trade shock to North Korea’s economic output, the onset of the worst famine in modern history, and a humanitarian crisis that required a direct appeal to the outside world for help. By the late 1990’s, he [...]
Now is a good time to rethink strategies for economic engagement with North Korea. Recent requests for food aid from the North and the report from a U.S. NGO Needs Assessment Team paint a picture of deteriorating food security due to harsh weather conditions and continued systemic failures. The UN humanitarian appeal for 2011 is being updated by a [...]
The extraordinary meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly on June 7 ratified a package of personnel decisions that appear to have resolved some of the uncertainties about the management of the leadership transition in North Korea, at least temporarily. The elevation of Jang Song Taek to Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission, places [...]
Politics and economics are deeply entwined in North Korea. Thus, interpretation of the intentions and implications of North Korean actions must be assessed through both lenses. As it tries to address economic development and security challenges, North Korea has to find a way to make internal changes that will yield results while maintaining [...]