Saturday, May 10, 2003

REFORM IN NORTH KOREA? "North Korea: 'Gigantic Change' and a Gigantic Chance" writes Ruediger Frank.
After detailed research on a truly outstanding ideological switch in the DPRK after 1998 and a quantitative analysis of the 2002 price reforms, I come to the conclusion that something remarkable is finally going on in terms of economic reforms in North Korea. This opens a narrow window of opportunity that shall not be missed.

And if the chance is missed?
A collapse of the DPRK attempts to reform could create yet another humanitarian catastrophe; it might result in increased and desperate attempts to make money by trading arms, drugs, falsified currency, and so forth. A failure of the proponents of an economic, i.e., civil attempt to ensure regime security and prosperity might result in effectively strengthening the role of the military in domestic politics and a greater likeliness of an armed conflict in the region. The latter would certainly mean the end of North Korea, but not one that anybody close to North East Asia favors since it contains too many incalculable risks.

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