US Korea Institute

Friday April 18th 2014
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Domestic Affairs

From politics to economics, from leadership succession to the introduction of fast food restaurants, there is a lot going on inside North Korea.

Personnel Shifts in the SPA Election: Steady as She Goes

Personnel Shifts in the SPA Election: Steady as She Goes

Click here for a translated list of the SPA Deputies (Members) as a result of the March 9, 2014 election. (List reported in Korean by KCNA; translated by Michael Madden.) The election of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly on March 9, 2014 did not reveal any major personnel or policy changes in North Korea’s unicameral parliament. With an [...]

Some Thoughts on the North Korean Parliamentary Election of 2014

Some Thoughts on the North Korean Parliamentary Election of 2014

Elections for the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), the parliament of North Korea, were held on March 9, 2014. Such elections take place every five years. The last polls, originally scheduled for 2008, were held in 2009, most likely in response to the worsening health condition of then leader Kim Jong Il. The elections in 2003 had been [...]

Game-Changing Agricultural Policies for North Korea?

Game-Changing Agricultural Policies for North Korea?

While there has been periodic speculation since Kim Jong Un took power about his appetite for reform, a recent development may foretell substantial changes for North Korea’s agricultural sector. On February 6-7, 2014, North Korea held its first national conference of farm sub-work team leaders in Pyongyang. The conference was reported by KCNA [...]

The Demise of Jang Song Thaek and the Future of North Korea’s Financial System

The Demise of Jang Song Thaek and the Future of North Korea’s Financial System

The demise of Jang Song Thaek and those loyal to him just may be good news for the prospects of reforming the North Korean financial system. This system is perhaps the most perverse on the planet, having evolved in a context defined by North Korea’s isolation and inward orientation, its dogged adherence to the ideals of a State-directed economy, [...]

North Korea: Leadership Schisms and Consolidation During Kim Jong Un’s Second Year in Power

North Korea: Leadership Schisms and Consolidation During Kim Jong Un’s Second Year in Power

The Year of Reckoning Kim Jong Un and Jang Song Thaek at the Korean General Satellite Command and Control Center seconds after the successful lift-off of the Unha-3 on December 12, 2012. A year later on December 12, 2013, Kim Jong Un marked the first anniversary of the “successful launch of the second version of artificial earth satellite [...]

A Guide to Kim Jong Un’s 2014 New Years Speech

A Guide to Kim Jong Un’s 2014 New Years Speech

On January 1, 2014, Kim Jong Un gave his second New Year speech to the people of North Korea after resuscitating a tradition that existed until the death of Kim Il Sung in 1994. While this year’s speech, like last year’s, does not announce any major policy shifts—no reasonable observer of North Korea would have expected such an [...]

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