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KEI Past Publication Series

KEIA Publication Series

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Wang Yun-jong, Choo Yong-shik

A Proactive Approach to Engaging North Korea: Boldness, Flexibility,and Inclusiveness

In October 2002, Pyongyang officials implicitly agreed to Assistant Secre- tary of State James Kelly’s charge that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) had been pursuing a new course of nuclear development through nourishing highly enriched uranium (HEU). The is- sue of North Korea’s nuclear development…

Expected Role of South Korea and Major Stakeholders: NGO Contributions to and Roles in North Korea's Rehabilitation

In response to the food crisis of the 1990s, the Democratic People’s Repub- lic of Korea (DPRK) for the first time began to accept humanitarian assis- tance from the outside world. This opening was one of the first cracks in the hermetic seal of self-imposed isolation that the DPRK leadership…

Introduction and Overview

Can the economic system of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) be successfully reformed? That is to say: Is it possible for contemporary North Korea, with its autarkic, hypermilitarized, and ostensibly centrally planned economic structure (institutions and arrangements, one must note, whose post–Cold War performance has…

Richard J. Samuels

Payback Time: Japan-North Korea Economic Relations

For historical and ideological reasons, relations between Japan and North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK) are among the most contentious and mutually distrustful of any in the world today. From Pyongyang’s perspective, Japan’s military alliance with the United States and its history of harsh colonial rule…

Edward P. Reed

Unlikely Partners: Humanitarian Aid Agencies and North Korea

One of the most unsettling aspects of humanitarian work in North Korea (or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK) is the disconnect between the country’s proud official face and its desperate reality. A scene I witnessed along a dusty road in North Hwanghae province in 1997, when I directed…

China's Role in the Course of North Korea's Transition

The North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK]) nuclear drama offers a good chance for fundamentally curing the North’s structural problems and routine crises. All the countries on North Korea’s periphery plus the United States have formed a consensus that it is urgent to find a way out of…

Political Economy of North Korea: Historical Background and Present Situation

By standard statistical measures, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK]) is the world’s most militarized society, and domestic propaganda incessantly proclaims the virtues of “military-first” politics. If comparable statistical measures were available for politicization, North Korea might rank first on this criterion, too. Internally, all aspects of society…

Russian-North Korean Relations and the Prospects for Multilateral Conflict Resolution on the Korean Peninsula

Russia fought two limited wars against Pacific powers on the Korean peninsula: first against Japan in 1904–05 and then against the United States and its overseas allies 50 years later, in 1950–53. Both times Russia suffered considerable setbacks and failed to achieve its primary goal: keeping the peninsula free of…

Carol Lancaster

Foreign Aid and International Norms: The Case of North Korea

Should the United States or other governments (or international organizations) provide foreign aid to the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)? North Korea is an extremely poor country with periodic bouts of severe famine and widespread human suffering. But it is governed by what is arguably the…

North Korea's Survival Game: Understanding the Recent Past, Thinking about the Future

Can the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea) survive—as a distinct regime, an autonomous state, a spe- cific political-economic system, and a sovereign country? Can it continue to function in the manner it has been performing since the end of 1991—that is, since the collapse…

Coping with North Korea's Energy Future: KEDO and Beyond

The subject of the energy future of North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK) has many dimensions, conceptualized in a broad variety of ways. For engineers, the energy future can be a problem in boiler efficiency and reactor safety. For energy economists, the future is an issue…

Managing Collateral Catastrophe: Rationale and Preconditions for International Economic Support for North Korea

No country in recent history has been as notoriously branded as North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK), which has been portrayed as a failed rogue state and a member of an axis of evil playing a dangerous game of proliferating weapons of mass destruction (WMD), violating…

Lee Young-sun, Yoon Deok-ryong

The Structure of North Korea's Political Economy: Changes and Effects

Socialist economic systems traditionally have been characterized by a centrally planned economy, in which a planning agency plans and organizes production as well as consumption to reach given objectives. The government carries out the plan while prohibiting unregulated economic activities. However, increasing difficulties in planning and severe shortages have resulted…

Designing Public Sector Capital Mobilization Strategies for the DPRK

Estimates of the financial requirements for reconstruction and future growth of the economy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) vary greatly, as do estimates for meeting the educational, health, and social security needs of its people. Private investment will be critical in this process, but…

Paul Bracken

Strategic Dimensions of Economic Assistance for North Korea

North Korea’s atomic bomb program and the U.S. response to it provide a case study in long-term crisis management. The defining characteristic of a crisis is that it contains turning points, sometimes many of them. In crisis management there are surprises and mistakes. Tight control of policy and especially over…

Malcolm Binks, Carl Adams

Mobilizing Private Capital for North Korea: Requirements for Attracting Private Investment

The topic posed might seem to be a mission impossible: North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) is a country that has been largely cut off from the global economy for more than 50 years, and even before that time it was hardly a center of foreign investment. However,…

Anders Aslund

Prospects and Preconditions for Market Economic Transformation in North Korea

Since 1989, approximately 30 countries have attempted to move from a socialist system to a market economy in Europe and Asia. The outcomes have been remarkably different. Most have succeeded. In Central Europe and the Baltic countries, normal West European democracies and market economies have been established. In Belarus, Turkmenistan,…