From politics to economics, from leadership succession to the introduction of fast food restaurants, there is a lot going on inside North Korea.
On October 4, 2002, Kang Sok Ju participated in a historically ambiguous but relatively significant official interaction between the US and DPRK governments. At the DPRK Foreign Ministry building in Pyongyang, a delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly confronted Kang, who was then North Korea’s First Vice Minister of Foreign [...]
Well, did Kim Jong Un pull a rabbit out of his hat, or didn’t he? More specifically, in his work report delivered at the 7th Workers' Party Congress held May 6-8, did Kim use the flexibility inherent in byungjin to begin to shift his emphasis from developing the country’s nuclear weapons program to building the economy? To clear the air [...]
From one perspective, the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) was a monotonous event, long on rhetoric and short on major policy and personnel changes. No substantive policy announcements took place, and many top officials sat on a rostrum for four days and ultimately kept their jobs. Throughout hours of speeches, Kim Jong Un [...]
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 [...]
It comes as a surprise to no one that North Korea’s newly concluded 7th Party Congress was more “show” than “tell,” but the gathering succeeded as a platform for Kim Jong Un to cement his leadership legitimacy and broad policy for governing. By pulling off the event without a hitch and taking the microphone for two long speeches, Kim [...]
(Photo: KCNA) Last week, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released an updated estimate of DPRK agricultural production for the 2015-2016 farming year, indicating a modest decline in food production compared with recent years that was largely attributed to the early season drought in 2015. As a result, food [...]