US Korea Institute

Wednesday September 3rd 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

A Tale of Two Kaesong Industrial Zones: Not All Foreign Investment is Created Equal

A Tale of Two Kaesong Industrial Zones: Not All Foreign Investment is Created Equal

Promoting foreign direct investment and enhancing commercial engagement is often touted as a potential catalyst for enticing isolated, authoritarian regimes to enact reforms and constructively engage with the international community. Promoting this sort of constructive commercial engagement with North Korea, however, is far easier said than done. [...]

Hello Kitty, Hello Wonsan

Hello Kitty, Hello Wonsan

Wonsan, on the DPRK’s east coast, by all accounts, used to bustle—at least by DPRK standards. If the recent outreach between Japan and North Korea bears fruit, Wonsan could undergo a 21st century revival. Since Japan banned all trade with the DPRK in the wake of the disastrous Kim-Koizumi summit of 2002, Wonsan has been a shell of its [...]

The SPA Session of April 2014: Spotlight on Sports and Economic and Trade Zones

The SPA Session of April 2014: Spotlight on Sports and Economic and Trade Zones

The first session of the newly elected 13th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA, North Korea’s parliament) was fairly mundane without too many big surprises. There were no unexpected changes on the personnel front, the constitution was not amended, no new laws were promulgated, no reform and opening policy was formulated, no new weapons were [...]

Game-Changing Agricultural Policies for North Korea?

Game-Changing Agricultural Policies for North Korea?

While there has been periodic speculation since Kim Jong Un took power about his appetite for reform, a recent development may foretell substantial changes for North Korea’s agricultural sector. On February 6-7, 2014, North Korea held its first national conference of farm sub-work team leaders in Pyongyang. The conference was reported by KCNA [...]

Shocking, But Not a Game Changer: Unraveling Regime Dynamics in Post-Jang North Korea

Shocking, But Not a Game Changer: Unraveling Regime Dynamics in Post-Jang North Korea

Recently, I wrote a column in World Post on the impact of Jang Song Thaek’s purge and execution on the power structure, regime stability and policy lines in North Korea. I argued that the removal of Jang would not critically undermine political stability in North Korea, not only because his power was disproportionately exaggerated, but also [...]

The Demise of Jang Song Thaek and the Future of North Korea’s Financial System

The Demise of Jang Song Thaek and the Future of North Korea’s Financial System

The demise of Jang Song Thaek and those loyal to him just may be good news for the prospects of reforming the North Korean financial system. This system is perhaps the most perverse on the planet, having evolved in a context defined by North Korea’s isolation and inward orientation, its dogged adherence to the ideals of a State-directed economy, [...]

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