US Korea Institute

Sunday December 4th 2016
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Ruediger Frank

Ruediger (Rudiger) Frank is a Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna and Head of its Department of East Asian Studies with over 60 scholars and almost 2,000 students. He holds a PhD in Economics and an MA in Korean Studies, Economics and International Relations. He is on the advisory or editorial boards of over 15 academic journals related to Korea and East Asia.

He has been a researcher of and frequent visitor to North Korea ever since he spent one semester as a language student at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang 1991/1992. He has worked with the World Economic Forum since 2011 as a member and later as Vice Chair of its Global Agenda Council on Korea, and since 2016 as a member of its Global Future Council on Regional Governance. He is the author or editor of 13 books and over 200 book chapters and articles.

For more information, see http://ecos.univie.ac.at
For publications, see http://univie.academia.edu/RuedigerFrank

The Unification Cases of Germany and Korea: A Dangerous Comparison (Part 1 of 2)

The Unification Cases of Germany and Korea: A Dangerous Comparison (Part 1 of 2)

Germany’s unification in 1990 has remained a popular model for future Korean unification, with its precedents on issues like the transfer of legal systems and technical standards, requirements for infrastructure investment, unification costs and social aspects. A closer look, however, reveals that the differences between Germany and Korea far [...]

Between Wishful Thinking and Realism: Hopes for a Pyongyang Spring

Between Wishful Thinking and Realism: Hopes for a Pyongyang Spring

On September 20, 2016, the US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) issued a call worth an estimated 1.6 million USD for projects to “foster the free flow of information into, out of, and within the DPRK.” In particular, applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for producing and transmitting radio [...]

The 7th Party Congress in North Korea: A Return to a New Normal

The 7th Party Congress in North Korea: A Return to a New Normal

The single most remarkable thing about the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) is that it took place. After a 36-year hiatus, it was, without doubt, a noteworthy event, but the truly big news we were waiting for—such as an announcement of a drastically new economic policy or a switch to collective leadership—was missing. There [...]

The 2016 North Korean Budget Report: 12 Observations

The 2016 North Korean Budget Report: 12 Observations

On March 30, 2016, the 9th plenary meeting of the 13th Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) of the DPRK convened at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang. Such meetings are routine events taking place annually in the spring. A senior official, usually the Prime Minister or the Minister of Finance, reports on the state budget for [...]

The Economics of Kaesong: Examining the Numbers

The Economics of Kaesong: Examining the Numbers

In response to my article on the Kaesong closure, I have received many helpful comments. In some cases, they confirmed my position; in others, they provided valid criticism that compelled me to check and rethink my arguments. Photo: Yonhap News. One of these comments has been published as a separate article at 38 North by Mr. William Brown. [...]

The Kaesong Closure: Punishment or Shot in the Foot?

The Kaesong Closure: Punishment or Shot in the Foot?

On February 10, 2016, the South Korean government decided to cancel cooperation with North Korea in the Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ, or simply Kaesong), arguing that the income from the zone had been used by Pyongyang to finance its nuclear and missile programs. One day later, the North froze all assets, expelled all South Koreans and declared [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.