US Korea Institute

Friday October 31st 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘economic reform’

Putting People Before Plutonium

Putting People Before Plutonium

The recent leadership shake-up in Pyongyang has thrust the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) back onto the front pages. And while it is too soon to fully assess what impact the removal of Jang Song Thaek will have on the course of the country, his purge should remind all that North Korea is not a one-dimensional problem. It requires a [...]

Book Review: A CAPITALIST IN NORTH KOREA

Book Review: A CAPITALIST IN NORTH KOREA

A CAPITALIST IN NORTH KOREA: My seven years in the Hermit Kingdom, by Felix Abt. Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2012. ISBN (ePub Edition): 978-1-937572-92-1. A CAPITALIST IN NORTH KOREA is Swiss entrepreneur Felix Abt’s account of his work and life in the DPRK, 2002-2009. As Jim Hoare did in North Korea in the 21st Century, Abt draws [...]

Kim Jong Un’s Domestic Policy Record in His First Year: Surprisingly Good

Kim Jong Un’s Domestic Policy Record in His First Year: Surprisingly Good

The year 2012 started with hysterical nationwide mourning for the deceased leader Kim Jong Il. The country was gripped with the fear of abandonment, uncertainty and chaos. But, by the time 2012 came to a close, one could detect hope in the air, and new positive expectations about the future. There was also plenty of public thirst for new [...]

Agricultural Reform Again—or Not?

Agricultural Reform Again—or Not?

Beginning in early July, a variety of sources have reported possible changes in DPRK farm policy, especially with regard to the organization of work teams and the share of produce which farms can retain. Information is rather spotty and inconsistent so far, and even if the government has decided to implement policy changes on a large scale, it is [...]

An Atmosphere of Departure and Two Speeds, Korean Style: Where is North Korea Heading?

An Atmosphere of Departure and Two Speeds, Korean Style: Where is North Korea Heading?

The Country Is Changing Not that it has ever been static, but within the few months between my travels to North Korea in spring and autumn of this year, the country has changed to the degree that even a foreign visitor cannot avoid noticing. While in April, everyone seemed to be somewhat tense and edgy, unsure about what would happen under the [...]

The Diminishing Returns of China’s North Korea Policy

The Diminishing Returns of China’s North Korea Policy

North Korea’s economic dependence on China may have reached an all-time high, but Kim Jong Un is determined to set a course for greater political independence from Beijing. This has left China in a state that one insider has referred to as ‘desperate’ over its rocky relations with the country since Kim Jong Un came to power. But given that [...]

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