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North Korea: Witness to Transformation

Stephan Haggard on “Korean Kontext”

by | August 13th, 2014 | 07:40 am

Stephan Haggard was recently featured on an episode of KEI’s Korean Kontext, a podcast series that focuses on experts, artists and opinion makers that shape the U.S.-Korea policy world.

The interview discusses possible reform paths for North Korea, including both domestic reforms of the agricultural and state-owned enterprise sector and the current push to induce foreign investment into special economic zones. A key issue is how–and if–these two components of the reform process–the internal and external–will connect. To date, it appears that the regime has prioritized the external over the internal after a timid pilot reform effort in 2012; nonetheless, the regime has allowed the ongoing process of marketization to continue. Given this focus, discussions about the external sector are likely to dominate the reform debate, such as whether Rason can become a reform node and what role external actors–South Korea, Russia and China–will play in the process. The discussion is clearly germane to the ongoing efforts by the Park administration to get the Trustpolitik process going.

You can listen to the full interview here.