Academic journal article North Korean Review

From Nuclear to Global: Transforming North Korea's Development Strategy

Academic journal article North Korean Review

From Nuclear to Global: Transforming North Korea's Development Strategy

Article excerpt

From Nuclear to Global: Transforming North Korea's Development Strategy By Yung Whee Rhee, Seoul: Haenam Publishing Co., 2008, 267 pages, ISBN-13: 9-7889-8670-300-9.

From Nuclear to Global is edited by Yung Whee Rhee, a consultant with experience of over thirty years who works for the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. In 1950, he participated in the Korean War, and in the '60s and '70s, he worked for the Korean Bank in South Korea. His experience at the Korean Bank helped him gain a solid understanding of South Korea's successful development strategy and became the basis for his companion volume on North Korea's integration with the global economy. The first chapter of Rhee's book provides brief information on the history of South Korea's and North Korea's economies. The author then briefly explains the main economic issues of the 1970s in East Asia, which include the "East Asia super star economics" of South Korea, the most successful transition economies, China's case and finally the one very notable exception, North Korea. The urgent need of North Korea to integrate into the global economy leads him to examine its past and future through the lenses of global development strategy and experience. Chapter 2 gives a global perspective on the critical importance of North Korea's global integration for its economic survival. The author argues that North Korea is ignoring and delaying the economic change, which turns it into the most extreme example and the slowest integrator in the world today. The chapter moves on to analyze the extreme inward orientation of North Korea's past economic development strategy and compares it with the East Asian "super star" economies. The author identifies four points that could serve as a lesson for North Korea to learn from the "super star" economies as well as the transition economies in East Asia.

The next chapter highlights key aspects of North Korea's economy before and after the "July 1, 2002 Measures," which were to improve its economic management. After introducing and examining the process and key components of the July Measures, the author derives a model of the North Korean economy. He argues that it is first and foremost military policy, the socialist economic system and polarization that make it hard for North Korea to change its economic system into a free-market system. …

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