US Korea Institute

Thursday April 17th 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

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, [...]

A Guide to Kim Jong Un’s 2014 New Years Speech

A Guide to Kim Jong Un’s 2014 New Years Speech

On January 1, 2014, Kim Jong Un gave his second New Year speech to the people of North Korea after resuscitating a tradition that existed until the death of Kim Il Sung in 1994. While this year’s speech, like last year’s, does not announce any major policy shifts—no reasonable observer of North Korea would have expected such an [...]

A Drop of Caution

A Drop of Caution

The high-profile purge and now execution of Jang Song Thaek has rattled teacups in Northeast Asia and beyond. High-level people have been executed many times before in North Korea, but not in sight or hearing of the international audience. For outside observers, whether Jang was actually guilty of any of the bill of particulars against him is, at [...]

Exhausting Its Reserves? Sources of Finance for North Korea’s “Improvement of People’s Living”

Exhausting Its Reserves? Sources of Finance for North Korea’s “Improvement of People’s Living”

Jang Song Thaek has been purged, in a way that suggests that Kim Jong Un wanted to make a point. This unusual procedure is without a doubt a sign of major problems. Otherwise, the overambitious uncle would have been removed silently, as has happened so many times before. But putting all this in great detail on the front page of Monday’s Rodong [...]

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