Archive for the ‘KIEP-Korea Institute for International Economic Policy’ Category

Is South Korea’s engagement hindering the growth of North Korea’s markets?

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

On April 23, the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)hosted, “The Lee Myung-Bak Administration’s Policy toward North Korea: Denuclearization or Disengagement.”  In this seminar they essentially answered this question with a ‘yes’.

According to the Daily NK coverage of the event:

[Dong Yong Seung, the Chief of the Security and Economics Department of the Samsung Economic Research Institute stated,] “While economic exchange between North Korea and China has been business-to-business, in the case of Kaesong, the exchange has been controlled from a single control tower, the North Korean regime. That is, the condition has been set up for government-to-government economic exchange to facilitate North Korean government’s planned economy. Economic cooperation in the style of South Korea’s has been obstructing North Korea’s rational transformation.”

In a sense, he is arguing that South Korea’s support for the Kaesong Zone yields results more similar to foreign aid than private economic exchange.  If this is the case, South Korea, and just about everyone else, could learn from China’s strategy for investing in North Korea.

As Judge Posner put it:

All the problems that foreign aid seeks to alleviate are within the power of the recipient countries to solve if they adopt sensible policies. If they do not adopt such policies, then foreign aid is likely to be stolen by the ruling elite, strengthening its hold over the country, or otherwise squandered. What we can do for poor countries is reduce tariff barriers to their exports. With money saved from eliminating foreign aid, we could compensate our industries that would be hurt by import competition from poor countries and thus reduce political opposition to tariff reform.


Cancor Report #297: Knowledge Sharing with the DPRK

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

November 12, 2007

The latest edition of the CanKor Report has only one longer-than-usual item.  It is the preparatory document of a workshop recently held in Seoul, Korea, in which NGOs, academics, practitioners and diplomats from Europe, Asia, Australia and North America consulted about the prospects for international cooperation regarding education and training programmes that need to be undertaken with the DPRK if denuclearization proceeds according to the Six-Party timetable.  Experts in economic development believe that the next step in international engagement will have to be the building up of DPRK expertise and intellectual capacity to absorb the significant development assistance that may follow successful completion of the Six-Party process. In this working paper, loyal CanKor reader and former World Bank official Bradley Babson defines “knowledge sharing”, explains why the time is ripe for all sectors to become involved, outlines potential pitfalls, and suggests guiding principles for future engagement by the international community.


    Bradley O. Babson, CanKor original
       Why knowledge sharing?
       Strategic considerations
       DPRK internal challenges
       Nuclear politics
       Inter-Korean reconciliation
       China, Russia and Northeast Asia regional perspectives
       Operational challenges in the DPRK context
       An underlying tension
       Absorptive capacity
       International experience and best practices
       Conclusions and principles for future engagement



North Korea Development Report 2003/04

Friday, July 30th, 2004

KIEP has published the North Korea Development Report 2003/04 (follow the link to download all several hundred pages!)

Summary: As a result of North Korea’s isolation from the outside world, international
communities know little about the status of the North Korean economy and its
management mechanisms. Although a few recent changes in North Korea’s economic system have attracted international interests, much confusion remains as to the characteristics of North Korea’s recent policy changes and its future direction
due to the lack of information. Therefore, in order to increase the understanding of readers in South Korea and abroad, KIEP is releasing The North Korea Development Report in both Korean and English. The motivation behind this report stemmed from the need for a comprehensive and systematic investigation into North Korea’s socio-economic conditions, while presenting the current status of its industrial sectors and inter-Korean economic cooperation. The publishing of this second volume is important because it not only supplements the findings of the first edition, but also updates the recent changes in the North Korean economy. The topics in this report include macroeconomics and finance, industry and infrastructure, foreign economic relations and inter-Korean economic cooperation, social welfare and science & technology.

This report also covers the ‘July 1 Economic Reform’ launched two years ago and
subsequent changes in the economic management system. The North Korea
Development Report helps to improve the understanding of the contemporary North
Korean economy.
Table of Contents  
Part I Macroeconomic Status and Finance
Chapter 1 Current Status of the North Korean Economy and Its Prospects
Chapter 2 National Financial Revenue and Expenditure
Chapter 3 Banking and Price Management

Part II Industrial Management and Problems
Chapter 4 The Industrial Sector
Chapter 5 The Agricultural Sector
Chapter 6 Social Overhead Capital
Chapter 7 Commerce and Distribution Sector
Chapter 8 The Defense Industry

Part III International Economic Activities
Chapter 9 Foreign Economic Relations
Chapter 10 Special Economic Zones
Chapter 11 Inter-Korean Economic Relations

Part IV Social Security and Technology Development
Chapter 12 Social Security and Social Services
Chapter 13 Science and Technology Sector

Part V The Recent Economic Policy Changes
Chapter 14 The Contents and Background for the Recent Policy Changes
Chapter 15 The Features and Problems of the Recent Economic Policy Changes
Chapter 16 Prospects and Future Tasks of the July 1 Economic Reform