Modernizing the North Korean System: Objectives, Method, and Application

Modernizing the North Korean System: Objectives, Method, and Application

Modernizing the North Korean System: Objectives, Method, and Application

Modernizing the North Korean System: Objectives, Method, and Application

Synopsis

Six institutions in five countries that have key interests in North Korea1s future undertook a collaborative effort to determine ways in which the North Korean system could move toward modernization. The effort produced illustrative plans, a consensus plan, and a tool kit for constructing alternative plans for stimulating the modernization of the North Korean system.

Excerpt

Project Motivation and Objectives

North Korea is conspicuous if not unique among the 193 other members of the United Nations (UN) in the paucity of reliable information about its internal conditions and processes. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has never published a statistical yearbook and has not published even fragmentary economic statistics since the early 1960s. Limited and unreliable information and data about North Korea result in obscurity and conjecture rather than knowledge about the country’s precise political, economic, and military circumstances. Partly for this reason, and because of the serious risks and threats posed by the DPRK through its nuclear and other weapons development programs, regional and international attention devoted to North Korea has tended to focus on short-term, immediate problems. Yet no matter how or what measures are devised for addressing these immediate problems, the risks and threats remain long term in character and require a longterm approach for resolution. The research with which this report is concerned was conceived with this long-term perspective in mind.

The objectives of the research we describe were to identify, elaborate, and evaluate “baskets” of policy instruments that can contribute to fundamental, peaceful system change in North Korea; alter the specifically defined archaic, or “non-modern,” attributes of the DPRK system; and serve as a basis for multilateral, cooperative actions by five key countries—the United States, South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia—in their bilateral and multilateral interactions with North Korea. The objectives also included formulating illustrative operational . . .

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