US Korea Institute

Tuesday April 25th 2017
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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.

Speak Loudly and Carry a Small Stick: The North Korean Cyber Menace

Speak Loudly and Carry a Small Stick: The North Korean Cyber Menace

We often see reports of troubling and sophisticated North Korean capabilities to wage cyber warfare. Although cyber exploits, usually against South Korean targets, are routinely attributed to the North, there is much suspicion and concern, but little hard evidence. Estimates of the size of North Korea’s hacker force vary wildly—an indication [...]

Internal Developments in North Korea: Succession

Internal Developments in North Korea: Succession

On July 15, 2010, 38 North held a workshop that gathered together experts from the U.S., South Korea, Europe, China and Japan, to discuss the latest developments regarding North Korea, both internal and external, with the goal of identifying future research priorities. We are pleased to provide excerpts of that dialogue for our [...]

Internal Developments in North Korea: The Economy

Internal Developments in North Korea: The Economy

On July 15, 2010, 38 North held a workshop that gathered together experts from the U.S., South Korea, Europe, China and Japan, to discuss the latest developments regarding North Korea, both internal and external, with the goal of identifying future research priorities. We are pleased to provide excerpts of that dialogue to our [...]

Facing Reality: Will North Korea Adopt a More Rational Economic Policy?

Facing Reality: Will North Korea Adopt a More Rational Economic Policy?

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 [...]

A New Emphasis on Operations Against South Korea?

A New Emphasis on Operations Against South Korea?

During the past twenty years, North Korea’s intelligence and internal security community’s organization has undergone numerous changes, most designed to secure the power and position of Kim Jong Il and to deal with increasing levels of unrest and corruption within the civilian population and the military. Recent changes during 2009-2010—the [...]

North Korea: Changing but Stable

North Korea: Changing but Stable

North Korea is not static and inflexible. Indeed, there tends to be a very dynamic picture once you look below the surface. Change is a constant but, as in almost any state or society, it brings about tension. However, there is little or no sign that current tensions, caused by changes in the distribution of power within the leaderships’ core [...]

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