In the fifth part of our contemporary marketization series, Philo Kim takes a sociologist’s lens to the North Korean economy to find out why marketization hasn’t led to large-scale change or transformation.
This week’s closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex highlights how arduous economic exchange with the DPRK can be. China knows this well. Keen to develop its own northeast, Beijing has been throwing money and heft at the borderland all century long. The latest bilateral step? Théo Clément heads to Dandong to investigate.
In response to sanctions on South Korean business and Pyongyang’s will to export more labor, the focus of inter-Korean exchange has shifted to the city of Dandong, “another Kaesong Industrial Complex,” according to anthropologist Kang Ju-won. Christopher Green looks at Kang’s recent article on Pressian.
In his second essay for Sino-NK, Théo Clément examines two SEZ developments on the North Korean side of the border, Mubong and Kyongwon. There he finds signs of competing local initiatives, logistical savvy, and reciprocal dialogue with Chinese partners.
A new SAIS report uses satellite imagery to measure North Korean market sizes as they have fluctuated over the past decade. Sino-NK goes into orbit behind the oculus, assessing gains and limitations of the data.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are spaces of great potential in North Korea. Théo Clément evaluates the terrain, based on his own on-site inspection and a holistic reading of North Korea’s premier northern SEZ.