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.
In post-famine North Korea, the spread of markets has created a dilemma for the state. While markets are sources of revenue, they also threaten to state’s survival. How has the state responded? In the third installment in a series of reviews, Peter Ward looks at Yang Mun-su’s work on the state’s response to marketization.
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.
Much Korean-language research about North Korea goes unread in the English-speaking world. In an effort to bridge the divide and make us all whole, Peter Ward embarks on a series of review essays dealing with key Korean research into marketization. The first piece looks at the surprising role of markets in the Kim Il-sung period.
Extensively analyzed on Sino-NK in 2013, for the second of a pair of Sino-NK 2013 Rewind pieces, Peter Ward returns to Byungjin’s source with an investigation of its ur-text, April’s “Nuke and Peace.”
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.
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.