US Korea Institute

Wednesday March 29th 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

A Eulogy to Women in Business Training

A Eulogy to Women in Business Training

“I want to go into business,” she said, “to show that women can be good business leaders too.” When Geoffrey K. See, Choson Exchange’s founder, first heard a female North Korean university student say this in 2007, two thoughts came to mind. First, there is so much we do not know or understand about North Korea. Second, there must be [...]

Banking on North Korea’s Banks?

Banking on North Korea’s Banks?

Observers of North Korean domestic developments will remember 2016 as the year that Kim Jong Un further formalized his political preeminence by convening the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in May and later creating a new supreme decision-making institution, the State Affairs Commission (SAC). The year’s significance to the [...]

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 [...]

Deciphering North Korean Economic Policy Intentions

Deciphering North Korean Economic Policy Intentions

The question of whether or not North Korea might openly pursue economic reform has been a focus of expert discussions for years. According to optimists, the DPRK’s masters could transform, or even “conventionalize,” the “Stalinist state” to become a “normal” country—if they retained power long enough to achieve reform and [...]

Deciphering the 7th Party Congress: A Teaser for Greater Change?

Deciphering the 7th Party Congress: A Teaser for Greater Change?

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 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 [...]

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