North Korean Capitalism
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.
A reporter travels to the border city of Dandong, and finds a number of despondent Korean traders with on-the-ground insights into China’s new sanctions on North Korea.
To understand politics in East Asia it is vital to keep a close eye on events in state capitols. However, it is also necessary to know what is going on at ground level – in Rason, Yanji, Hyesan, Ji’an, Sinuiju, Jilin, and of course right here in Dandong.
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.
How unique is North Korea? A quartet of contributions from Rudiger Frank, Georgy Toloraya, Christopher Green, and Robert Winstanley-Chesters address this question, via review of an important new book.
Chinese sources are no panacea for the dearth of official data coming from the DPRK. But with a sharp-eyed detachment, they can still help. Translating a 2013 article on DPRK economic relations with the Chinese province of Zhejiang, Matthew Bates shows us how.