Archive for the ‘Korea Institute for National Unification’ Category

RoK ends Sunshine Policy

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

According to Voice of America:

The South Korean Unification Ministry’s annual report calls the Sunshine Policy of peaceful engagement with North Korea a failure.

The ministry’s white paper, issued Thursday, contends a decade of cooperation, cross-border exchanges and billions of dollars in aid did not change Pyongyang’s behavior or improve the lives of North Korean citizens.

Lee Jong-joo, a ministry spokeswoman, says South Korea’s goal is to see North Korea prosper, but Seoul must respond appropriately to any provocations from Pyongyang.

Compared with the previous two administrations here, North-South relations have significantly cooled under President Lee Myung-bak.

Mr. Lee, since taking office in 2008, has insisted North Korea give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons if it wants badly needed food and other aid from Seoul.

His conservative government points to North Korea’s continued nuclear programs and this year’s sinking of a South Korean warship as examples of deception by Pyongyang.

The white paper’s publication was delayed six months to include information on the sinking of the Cheonan navy ship in March.

Pyongyang denies responsibility for the sinking. An international investigation concluded the ship was hit by a North Korean torpedo.

Park Young-Ho is a senior research fellow at the government-funded Korea Institute for National Unification. He says Mr. Lee’s administration is trying to establish a relationship based on rules with the North.

Park says this is a shift, in response to four decades of Pyongyang’s questionable attitude towards inter-Korean engagement.

The ministry’s report complains about the lack of progress on other critical issues, including reuniting separated families and the release or information about South Korean prisoners of war, as well as citizens abducted by the North’s agents.

Referring to huge payments Seoul secretly made to Pyongyang to bring about a 2000 summit of the countries’ leaders, the Unification Ministry says any future engagement must be done transparently.

The policy document does stress the importance of dialogue between Seoul and Pyongyang.

On Thursday, Pyongyang sent a message to Seoul saying it is prepared to discuss the status of a jointly run resort in the North when their Red Cross societies hold talks next week.

South Korea’s government has asked Pyongyang to release assets it seized in Seoul’s portion of the Mount Kumgang resort.

Tours to the resort were a rare source of hard currency for the impoverished North. Seoul suspended the program in 2008 when a North Korean guard shot and killed a South Korean tourist near the resort.

Read the full story here:
South Korea Formally Declares End to Sunshine Policy
Voice of America


A Mass-Scale Trade Deficit Results after the July 1 Economic Measure

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Daily NK
Park Hyun Min
In North Korea, despite the additional reform measures on the table after the implementation of the 2002 July 1 Economic Management Reform Measure (July 1 Economic Measure), it appears that a mass-scale trade deficit has resulted.

Choi Soo Young, a Senior Researcher of Korea Institute for National Unification, said through a recently published report called “Five years after the July 1 economic measure, North Korea’s Economy and Process of Transformation” in the July issue of the Reunification Affairs Analysis, “The size of the deficit in North Korea’s revenues and expenditures (with the exception of North and South Korea trade) has increased from 790 million dollars in 2002 to 11 hundred million dollars in 2006.”

Researcher Choi said, “After the July 1 economic measure, North Korea, through regionalization of trade activities, which used to revolve around the Central Planning Administration, by allowing provincial-level offices such as the city and district offices, attempted trade revitalization.” However, to control inflation resulting from structural unemployment and shortage of supply, the North Korean government ignored revenues outside of national planning, which was the cause of the deficit.

After he also pointed out that, “When the North Korean economy’s dependence on China became chronic, the situation has become exacerbated,” he said, “North Korea’s export to China in 2006, compared to 2002, rose 72.7%, but on the other hand, import from China increased 163.8%.”

Between 2002-2004, North Korea’s size of trade deficit with China was only around 2 hundred million dollars, but in 2005 and 2006 each, it expanded to 5.8 hundred million dollars and 7.6 hundred million dollars. Further, North Korea’s reliance on trade with China, augmented from 48.5% in 2004, to 52.6% in 2005, and 56.7% in 2006.

Accordingly, North Korea has to depend on China in order to get equipment, energy, and raw materials for industrial production.

Simultaneously, Choi, from the perspective of macroeconomics on the basis of North Korea’s economic growth rate, North Korea’s economy has recovered from the worst situation and is maintaining a low-growth condition.

He analyzed, “From 1990 to 1998, a continuous 9-year negative economic growth has been recorded, but from 1999 to 2004, a positive growth has been achieved. After the July 1 economic measure, the North Korean economy’s low-growth originated from its verbal effort of increasing productions of agricultural and a portion of its light industry goods and the support of the outside world.”

However, he pointed out that it is not off-target to evaluate that the North has a foundation of undergrowth due to its sustained level of low-growth, that its shortage of food, energy, and raw material goods is continuing, and on the industrial front, productions increase has not shown any movement.

On one hand, researcher Choi said that going beyond the financial deficit, in order to realize a form of annual income and annual expenditures, an establishment of the power of taxation for an increase in tax revenues and restraining of unnecessary financial expenses are needed. Also, he ordered the acquirement of an objective tax system for the assurance of an effective financial plan and a fair tax.


Hidden Side of North Korea Unleashed

Thursday, December 28th, 2006


The North Korean Regime Stability Assessment by the government-run Korea Institute for National Unification has revealed many unknown parts about North Korean society. In particular, the details of in-depth interviews of 12 North Korean defectors who held a high-ranking position in the North help us understand why the North Korean society is fundamentally shaken.

All the former top North Korean officials unanimously say that nothing is possible without paying kickbacks in the bureaucratic regime of the Stalinist country.

“It is linked like a chain because lower ranking officials give bribes to their immediate superiors and the superiors give bribes to their immediate senior officers and so on,” said a North Korean defector who asked to be identified only as K.

Bribing has become such a prevalent practice in the North that sometimes there are official price tags for some bribes. “People give about $ 10,000 of congratulatory money when they come to a wedding of a high ranking official’s child. But it could be $5,000 or $ 3,000 in some cases,” a North Korean defector who asked to be identified only as J said. “ In North Korea, prices are set on certain types of bribes as bribing has become established as part of its market. For instance, there is a certain amount required either to send their children overseas or to become a college professor,” said another North Korean defector who asked to be identified only as L.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the People`s Safety Agency (PSA), the two major national security bodies of North Korea whose role is controlling the people, reportedly have serious conflicts with each other. “The officials of the two institutions are treated differently. As the staff of the NSA has stronger influence and earns more than the staff of the PSA, the officials of the PSA are not content,”

Although people may think that military officials enjoy the greatest power under North Korea’s military first politics, in reality, party officials have a stronger power than military officials, according to former North Korean high-ranking officials. “The party has a complete control over the personnel management of the military. Even North Korean leader Kim Jong Il said that the military is supervised by the party,” North Korean defectors K an L said.

Some of the defectors said that Kim Jung Il is less popular among women compared to his late father Kim Il Sung because he is short, ugly and has a big belly.

Some also said the Korean Wave is sweeping across North Korea as well. “Those who secretly watch South Korean videos used to be punished. But it is not the case any more. Only those who distribute them are punished and even security agents secretly watch those videos they confiscate,” said a North Korean defector who asked to be identified only as C.

A North Korean defector also said that women in their 20s and 30s earn about five dollars by prostituting. “Life in North Korea is less stressful as everyone is poor. So there are less bald people,” the defector said.