Introduction: Aspects of the Transition and Theoretical Considerations
The consolidation of power by Kim Jong Il that is unfolding points to the durability of the North Korean regime in the face of the trends that have unravelled the communist world since 1989. Yet the image of a fossilised North Korea can be more apparent than real. Just before his death, Kim Il Sung was about to begin negotiations with the US over the nuclear issue and the often proposed leadership summit with the South also looked as if it would materialise.1 A start to economic reform, albeit a highly tentative one, had also been made. There is no indication that the new Pyongyang leadership seeks a reverse course. These developments suggest that North Korea has recognised the seriousness of her situation, a predicament brought on by an outdated centrally planned economy and the loss of Russian diplomatic and economic support. Thus the argument can be made that North Korea is in a state of transition.
KeywordsKorean Peninsula Economic Reform Democratic Liberal Party Korean Economy Northeast Asian Region
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- 5.Guillermo O’Donnell et al. (eds), Transitions from Authoritarianism (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1986) is the seminal work of this type.Google Scholar
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- Radical perspectives are considered by: Kyong-Dong Kim (ed.), Dependency Issues in Korean Development (Seoul: Seoul National University Press, 1987);Google Scholar
- Hyun-chae Park et. al., The Korean Economy (Seoul: Kachi, 1989) [in Korean]; andGoogle Scholar
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