North Korea

The Complexity of North Korean Migration

June 6, 2013 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Just imagine you’re a North Korean living in a small village. You have no one to compare your condition with. One day, you hear about people who’ve fled to China who are now well off. Some even go to South Korea, a place you know about from smuggled DVDs. You know that if caught, you could be sent to prison and beaten by guards. If successful, such migration promises a better life. […]

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North Korea

Post-socialism, North Korean Style: With State Economy in Ruins, Workers Look Elsewhere for Employment

February 14, 2013 Asia Pacific Memo 0

North Korea is often described as the “world’s last Stalinist state,” but this is misleading. While the facade of a Stalinist economy remains visible in Pyongyang, the nation’s capital, the socialist regime has long become an empty shell. The North Korean economy is now dominated by legal, semi-legal, and entirely illegal private enterprises that provide employment for workers who have failed to make ends meet in the formal economy. As such, it more closely resembles a post-socialist Eastern European economy than a Stalinist one. […]

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North Korea

Missionaries Infiltrating North Korea: How Long Can the Hermit Kingdom Avoid Reform?

April 28, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #77 – On April 11, 2011, the US State Department confirmed North Korea’s intention to prosecute an American, Jun Young-su, held since November 2010 for proselytizing. Another American missionary, Aijalon Gomes, was prosecuted and released in August 2010, following the February 2010 release of missionary Robert Park. A fascinating juxtaposition emerges: while more than one thousand North Koreans risk their lives to escape the hermit kingdom each year, outsiders risk severe punishment to enter the country to preach Christianity, with little evidence that missionaries in general receive leniency. […]

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North Korea

Examining North Korean Foreign Policy (Video Interview with Dr. Kyung-Ae Park)

February 8, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #54 – We are witnessing rapid changes in the foreign policy environment of North Korea. These changes have serious regional and global implications. Nuclear weapons, famine, refugees, human rights, and regional security, are issues that, according to Professor Kyung-Ae Park, require a thorough understanding of the domestic and external forces behind North Korea’s foreign policy. Her book, New Challenges of North Korean Foreign Policy brings together 10 of the world’s leading experts to examine the challenges facing North Korea in the foreign policy arena today. […]

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