Economic Policy

After the Collapse: The Formalization of Market Structures in North Korea, 1994-2010

By | June 09, 2014

With the collapse of the state-run distribution service in North Korea, market trading, selling, and buying became a means of survival. What started then is now an integral and formalized part of economic and social life. Peter Ward’s second review concerns Joung Eun-lee’s article on market development in North Korea from the early 1990s to the present.

Vanadium and Socialism: Rare Earth Prospecting, Politics, and History in North Korea

By | April 28, 2014

Behind every cloud there is a silver lining and behind every developmental story in North Korea there is a narrative from Kim Il-sung. Robert Winstanley-Chesters investigates the pre-history of SRE Minerals’ contemporary Rare-Earth gambit.

Yongusil 24: “Pockets of Efficiency,” Taking a Developmental Approach to North Korea

By | January 17, 2014

Two intriguing Sino-NK related articles on North Korean developmental approach post-Jang have appeared in the venerable BAKS Papers. While one focuses on “pockets of efficiency” and the other on futurological possibility, both are fascinating.

Armilliara and Sunshine: From Kim Jong-il’s Fungal Diplomacy to the Mushroom Institute of Pyongyang

By | November 22, 2013

Robert Winstanley-Chesters follows the trail of North Korean charismatic politics deep into the developmental realm, from fungus’ place under the Sunshine policy to the recently rebuilt Central Mushroom Institute.

Peacemaker or Political Hostage? Prospects for the Moscow-Busan “Iron Silk Road Express”

By | November 11, 2013

The promise of profit and increased political stability in Northeast Asia are attractive to Moscow and Seoul, but do the potential benefits of the “Iron Silk Road Express” outweigh the risks that come with investing in North Korea? Sabine van Ameijden evaluates.

Forget about the “Trustpolitik,” Let’s Talk Won

By | November 07, 2013

Trust can come in many forms, but in Korea there is a serious lack of it. According to Professor Jin Jingyi of Peking University, the key is to transit away from futile attempts to foster political trust, and onto an “economics-first,” or “trusteconomik” if you prefer, approach. Steven Denney explains.

A Primer on North Korea’s Economy: An Interview with Andrei Lankov

By | October 11, 2013

In the modern era of North Korean marketization, the scope and substance of the North Korean economy are hard to establish. Nevertheless, in this new interview with Peter Ward, Professor Andrei Lankov of Kookmin University does his best to describe the current state of affairs.

Reining in Rent-Seeking: How North Korea Can Survive

By | July 02, 2013

Peter Ward proposes that the North Korean regime can reconcile the seemingly contradictory concepts of “state rule” and “market economy” by reining in rent-seeking from low- and mid-level bureaucrats and harnessing the power of the markets.