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A Contribution to KORUM 2021 Q2

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KGCCI), Dr. Bernhard Seliger, representative of HSF Korea, recently contributed an article titled “40 years of institutional change in North Korea” to the 88th issue of KORUM.

In the article, Dr. Seliger points out that a market economy system has long been developed in North Korea. He evaluates how North Korea’s ideological development – from Kim Il-Sung to his grandson Kim Jong-Un – necessitates the establishment of new governance mechanisms. A strengthened market economy would likely result in a corresponding development of stronger institutions. While Kim Jong-Un’s aggressive military policy has clearly led to worsening trade since his accession in 2011, Dr. Seliger notes that some steps have still been taken to develop market mechanisms.

Shifting from the unitary socialist system to a hybrid system, North Korea’s economy has gone through more and less successful phases of economic performance. Although the 2016 economic policy, favoring economic development and trade, was initially successful, Kim Jong-Un declared the failure of the five-year-plan in January 2021. Ultimately, Dr. Seliger interprets the prospects of successful North Korean economic reforms in the future. The complete article can be accessed here.