Book Description

On the Korean peninsula one of the greatest success stories of the postwar era confronts a famine-ridden—and possibly nuclear-armed—totalitarian state. The stakes are extraordinarily high for both North and South Korea and for countries such as the United States that have a direct stake in these affairs. This study, the most comprehensive volume to date on the subject, examines the current situation in the two Koreas in terms of three major crises: the nuclear confrontation between the United States and North Korea, the North Korean famine, and the South Korean financial crisis. The future of the peninsula is then explored under three alternative scenarios: successful reform in North Korea, collapse and absorption (as happened in Germany), and "muddling through" in which North Korea, supported by foreign powers, makes ad hoc, regime-preserving reforms that fall short of fundamental transformation.


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Editorial Reviews

Avoiding the Apocalypse is unique in its breadth and rigor and essential reading for anyone interested in the future of Korea.

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Former Senior Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist of the World Bank

Marcus Noland has managed to integrate the political and economic stories of both North and South Korea in one most useful volume.... Noland's account offers especially timely insights and guidance.

Robert B. Zoellick, USTR

... [This] encyclopedic coverage of the two Korean economies... will be widely read and cited.

Il SaKong, Chairman and CEO of the Institute for Global Economics and former Minister of Finance of the Republic of South Korea

[The book is] the best I've seen on the subject.

Don Gregg, The Korea Society and former US Ambassador to the Republic of South Korea

The best way to ... [be prepared for the worst] ... is to read "Avoiding the Apocalypse," Marcus Noland's exhaustive study of the two Koreas and the impact of unification ...

The Japan Times

This is a very important book, written by one of the world's leading experts on the two Koreas. Noland has digested everything that can be relied upon to understand North Korea and made it widely accessible.

Lawrence B. Krause, University of California, San Diego, The Journal of Asian Studies




1. Introduction

2. The South Korean Economy Until 1997

3. The North Korean Economy

4. The Nuclear Confrontation

5. The Slow-Motion Famine in the North

6. The Financial Crisis in the South

7. The Prospect of Successful Reform in the North

8. The Implications of North Korean Collapse

9. Can the North Muddle Through?

10. Conclusions




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