“Business for Peace” (B4P): can this new global governance paradigm of the United Nations Global Compact bring some peace and stability to the Korean peninsula?
North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK) is under strict UN economic sanctions because it violated UN policy in its development of nuclear weapons and long range missiles as well as for its militant rhetoric. South Korea (Republic of Korea or ROK) and Japan, as close allies of the USA, are unsure of the future. Is there a way to bring some peace and stability to the Korean peninsula? Some argue that this is a hopeless task as long as the current leadership of North Korea is in power. This article takes a more positive stance and outlines a possible way forward. The study, following the position of the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK), assumes that the conflict is at root one over ideology and power. The leadership of North Korea understands itself as “a revolutionary and socialist state” and is determined to continue to control the country through a rigorous and sometimes brutal government oversight of the culture. Although poverty and hunger are widespread, the people have little opportunity to be heard. What if the leaders of North Korea were persuaded that they could gain legitimacy through developing a dynamic economy that brought flourishing to their people and respect by fellow-nations in the global village? The article proposes to start this new adventure by developing enterprise zones in the North (the Kaesong Industrial Complex) that would bring jobs and food to hundreds of thousands of North Koreans. To begin this project, there would need to be dramatic steps toward denuclearization on the part of the North in order to relax the UN economic sanctions. Is it possible? The article outlines a way forward.
KeywordsBusiness ethics Business for Peace (B4P) Global governance paradigm Kaesong Industrial Complex North Korea UN Global Compact SDGs
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