US Korea Institute

Tuesday April 25th 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Ruediger Frank’

Consumerism in North Korea: The Kwangbok Area Shopping Center

Consumerism in North Korea: The Kwangbok Area Shopping Center

During my last trip to North Korea in February 2017, I noted a number of interesting developments that have taken place since my previous visit in May 2016. They include the disappearance of iron bars from windows and balconies on the first two floors of residential buildings in Pyongyang, a complete change of the design of license plates for [...]

The Unification Cases of Germany and Korea: A Dangerous Comparison (Part 2 of 2)

The Unification Cases of Germany and Korea: A Dangerous Comparison (Part 2 of 2)

The first part of this analysis argued against simple comparisons of German unification and the hypothetical Korean case by showing major differences in the external forces and domestic attitudes that would influence unification of the Koreas. This next discussion will consider differences that impact unification costs—an apparent area of [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Economics of Kaesong: Examining the Numbers

The Economics of Kaesong: Examining the Numbers

In response to my article on the Kaesong closure, I have received many helpful comments. In some cases, they confirmed my position; in others, they provided valid criticism that compelled me to check and rethink my arguments. Photo: Yonhap News. One of these comments has been published as a separate article at 38 North by Mr. William Brown. [...]

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