How and Why North Korea Could Experience Economic Reform

July 12th, 2012
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In a recent interview with the Korean Economic Institute scholar Andrei Lankov argued that North Korea is not in a position to follow the path of economic reform witnessed in countries like China due to the onerous presence of South Korea. As he put it, “In China, reforms are possible because there is no South

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About the Author

David Matthew

David Matthew is pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Policy at Edinburgh University in the UK with a focus on security, trade, and technology in the Asia-Pacific.

Join the discussion

  • Joe Callama

    This is an interesting article, I agree I think Lankov can be a bit too dismissive of China’s situation in the 1980s. It still risked a lot to reform, so there is no reason NK cannot either. but doing so would probably accelerate nk’s own demise… 

  • Fred Bauder

    I think the United States, and other countries, are quite willing to assist North Korea with economic reform if they negotiate and sign a peace treaty, abandon nuclear weapons, and crease egregious human rights violations.  Frankly, I think the door is wide open.

  • newageman

    Fred,

    You are confusing yourself and others!
    It is not NK that is refusing a peace treaty
    but Uncle Sam.

    NK may have been integrated into the world fully today
    with economic reform, liberalization, and no nukes,
    if US agreed to negotiate and sign a peace
    treaty proposed by NK from early 1970s.

    Wake up please!
    Uncle Sam is not such an angel
    as you may believe.