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Benchmarks Of Economic Reform In North Korea

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Chapter Summary

This chapter sketches theoretical expectations of post-Communist economic changes to highlight the importance of North Korean economic changes to date. It then places North Korean economic policy in this context. Economic reform in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is central to debates concerning the future of that state. The chapter compares North Korean actions to not just a single country's economic transition (e.g. China's) but compares them to the common characteristics of all previous post- Communist economic reforms. It offers an alternative metric by which to judge the pace and direction of North Korea's economic changes. János Kornai (1992, 1995) explains how a classical socialist system functions and reveals the structural factors that alter the system. The Chinese government and three successive South Korean administrations have placed economic reform in North Korea at the top of their foreign policy strategy towards that state.

Keywords: Chinese government; DPRK; economic reform; János Kornai; North Korea



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