Academic journal article North Korean Review

Death Sentence for North Korea's Principle of Self-Reliance?

Academic journal article North Korean Review

Death Sentence for North Korea's Principle of Self-Reliance?

Article excerpt

The spring 2006 issue of the North Korean Review contains ii articles, short papers, commentaries, and excerpts. These ii papers deal with economic and non-economic issues on North Korea. All of the papers on the North Korean economy have to do with two major new initiatives started by North Korea in recent years: economic reform and free economic zones. Because these two new policies are intended to attract foreign investment and technology, it is fair to assume that the North Korean government has quietly imposed the death sentence on its long cherished juche principle (the concept of self-reliance). Other articles deal with North Korean human rights and nuclear issues.

North Korean founder Kim Il Sung introduced juche in a speech to the Korean Workers Party on December 28, i955, in an e∂ort to agitate party workers. Although North Koreans had often failed to follow the teachings of juche in their everyday lives, the ideology had remained a powerful influence on their domestic and international policies until recently. However, a number of papers in this issue indicate that North Korea has quietly abandoned this principle through the introduction of a series of economic reforms, free trade zones, new laws, and other measures in recent years. North Korea had diplomatic ties with only a few dozen communist countries until the early i990s, but now the country has diplomatic relations with more than i50 countries. On September i9, 2005, six nations (China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Russia, United States) reached a six-point agreement at the fourth round of talks in Beijing on North Korea's nuclear program. …

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