US Korea Institute

Friday January 30th 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

DPRK Agricultural Policy: Chinese-Style Reform or Muddling Towards Autonomy?

DPRK Agricultural Policy: Chinese-Style Reform or Muddling Towards Autonomy?

For DPRK economy watchers, the last year has been relatively quiet regarding the agricultural sector. Aside from a landmark conference for sub work team leaders in February, and the annual weather crisis (low rainfall in April and midsummer), there was little news. Yet it appears that policy modifications announced in previous years, and received [...]

North Korea’s Expansion of Molybdenum Production

North Korea’s Expansion of Molybdenum Production

Summary North Korea’s expansion of the March 5 Youth Mine—a showcase facility intended to produce non-ferrous metals encompassing almost 2,500 acres near the Chinese border—began in 2008 and culminated in summer 2014 with the completion of a molybdenum production facility. The factory represents a notable expansion in Pyongyang’s [...]

Turtle Shells Redux

Turtle Shells Redux

I recognize a fool’s errand when I see one, but in this case, I cannot resist. Looking through this website’s recent articles, it is hard to escape the conclusion that media analysis is not well understood and thus rarely practiced. Media analysis, as opposed to simply using the media to make a case, is a craft, not voodoo. It takes time, [...]

What’s New in Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Speech

What’s New in Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Speech

After having completed three years of mourning his father Kim Jong Il’s death last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has become more confident and reconciliatory, but at times ambivalent and contradictory. On January 1, 2015, his third annual New Year’s speech was broadcast across the nation on Korean Central Television. The speech is of [...]

Jumping to Conclusions…Again

Jumping to Conclusions…Again

As surely as a new year follows the old, North Korea’s New Year’s Day message is scoured for signals of regime intent to reform and moderate its provocative behavior. Passages that are less vituperative than the preceding year are hailed as harbingers of peaceful engagement. Despite these inevitably rosy pundit predictions, there is less [...]

Rason Special Economic Zone: North Korea as It Could Be

Rason Special Economic Zone: North Korea as It Could Be

If you have ever been to North Korea, you might know that feeling: you are in the country, and at the same time, you are not. Foreign visitors usually stroll through the streets as if they are caught inside a huge transparent rubber sphere. They can see and hear, but most of the time there is this invisible but tangible wall between them and the [...]

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