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Engaging and Transforming North Korea’s Economy
Region: Asia
Location: Korea, North
Published February 15, 2012
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North Korea badly needs change but whether that change can and should be induced or forced from the outside is open to question. This paper proceeds from the perspective that most outside engagement with North Korea to date has been detrimental to North Korean reform since it has aided the central state, which is adamantly opposed to decentralizing reforms. But a window for inducing change in North Korea may be opening as the socialist command economy continues to fail and as a likely lengthy political transition to a new leader begins. Several “rules” of engagement, or purposeful disengagement, are suggested that could help shove the country in a reform direction.

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