July 04, 2020

The end of the PDS? Early economic reform debate in North Korea
Kim Il Sung's works show that internal discussion was more common than readers might assume

If you were skeptical before, let me set your mind at rest: there was policy debate inside the top echelons of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) as late as the 1960s. Indeed, in 1985 - the waning years of his rule - Kim Il Sung gave a speech where he offered fascinating insights as to the scope and limits of policy discussions within the top echelons.

The North Korean Public Distribution System (PDS), as this system is commonly known in English, is widely discussed within North Korean studies, particularly as it relates to the famine. Contrary to what some believe it is not a state secret.