US Korea Institute

Tuesday August 30th 2016
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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

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 [...]

The 2016 North Korean Budget Report: 12 Observations

The 2016 North Korean Budget Report: 12 Observations

On March 30, 2016, the 9th plenary meeting of the 13th Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) of the DPRK convened at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang. Such meetings are routine events taking place annually in the spring. A senior official, usually the Prime Minister or the Minister of Finance, reports on the state budget for [...]

Hiding in Plain Sight: Cowboys, Conmen and North Korea’s $6 Trillion Natural Resource Prize

Hiding in Plain Sight: Cowboys, Conmen and North Korea’s $6 Trillion Natural Resource Prize

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Kevin Leech became a billionaire through a series of investments in pharmaceutical and technology companies after selling his family’s 38 funeral parlors across England. After losing everything when his company, an internet incubator named Ci4net.com collapsed, Leech emerged from bankruptcy in 2005 and engineered a series of [...]

Pulling the Rabbit Out of the Hat: Kim Jong Un’s Path Out of the Nuclear Crisis

Pulling the Rabbit Out of the Hat: Kim Jong Un’s Path Out of the Nuclear Crisis

Everyone has a pet thesis about what is going on and what will happen on the North Korean issue over the next several months. In mid-January, I laid out what seemed to be six likely possibilities to keep in mind. Ten weeks later, I think we can winnow the choices down to two. (Photo: Getty-Reuters.) The first possibility is that we are in [...]

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