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North Korean Economic Studies

The main mission of the KDI Office of the North Korean Economic Studies is to observe and analyze the trends, structures, and issues of the North Korean economy, and publish the results through a variety of mediums including the KDI Review of the North Korean Economy (monthly journal), research and policy reports, and academic papers. Of these, three major series, DPRK Economic Outlook, Dialogue, and Working Paper*, are also published in English thanks to the efforts of not only the fellows and associates of the Office of North Korean Economic Studies but also co-editor, Prof. Hazel Smith of SOAS, London. * DPRK Economic Outlook outlines the annual trends of the North Korean economy while Dialogue features interviews with leading experts on North Korea, and Working Paper presents analyses of prominent issues.

Scope of Research and Activities
  • Current status of the North Korean economy
  • Inter-Korean exchanges and economic cooperation
  • Economic transition and integration
  • Economic security and risk factors on the Korean peninsula
  • Expansion of the global network for studies on the North Korean economy
Dialogue
North Korean Statistics and Research on the North Korean Economy

April 21, 2020

Before we begin, I would like to thank Dr. Lee, Director of the KDI Office of North Korean Economic Studies, for his participation. To lead us off, let us examine the statistics from and research on North Korea. So, Dr. Lee, what are your thoughts on North Korean statistics? Contrary to the general opinion that there is no such thing, do they exist or are we, the outside world, simply unaware? Also, if they do exist, how has ‘availability’ changed over time?
First and foremost, it is an honor to be the first interviewee for the new Dialogue series. It is especially meaningful that you, Dr. Cho, my predecessor, are conducting this interview. Although I have talked about North Korean statistics on many occasions, I will dive deeper into the issue today, and offer more details.

Research Digest
Finding Loopholes in Sanctions: Effects of Sanctions on North Korea’s Refined Oil Prices

Kyoochul KimJanuary 6, 2020

During 2016 and 2017, North Korea conducted three nuclear tests and four missile launches, and in response, the international community strengthened its sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions are aimed at deterring North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, and in order to achieve this, the main means are to block the inflow of foreign currency into North Korea and to ban the import of goods related to its nuclear development efforts.

Research Monograph
Measures for Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation and Collaboration with North Korea to Incorporate North Korea into the Global Economy

Suk LeeDecember 31, 2019

This study examines the significance and implications of North Korea's full participation in the global economy from the perspective of the South Korean economy. It begins with an objective assessment of how today’s North Korean economy differs from the general market economy, or more specifically, the economic systems of the many other countries engaged in the global economy. It then explores the concept, contents and process of North Korea's participation and presents relevant case studies on and outcomes of other countries in similar situations―thus, it can be a meaningful reference.

Policy Study
Analysis on the DPRK's Socioeconomic Status: Focusing on the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey

Jongkyu LeeDecember 31, 2019

This study focuses on the changes in North Korea’s socioeconomic conditions under Kim Jong-un and draws upon the implications for South Korea’s policies and inter-Korean economic cooperation. Most of all, analyzing socioeconomic indicators is an important process as it helps to paint a more precise picture of the realities of the North Korean economy―where data is scarce―and supplements North Korea’s GDP data―which is deemed inaccurate.

Report VOD
The Quantitative Growth in North Korea's Trade : Is it Enough?

Kyoochul KimSeptember 05, 2018

Periodical
KDI Review of the North Korean Economy

Monthly published paper on the current status of the North Korean economy and major issues on inter-Korean economic cooperation assisting academia, policy makers and corporate sectors to better understand North Korea.

DPRK
2019 The DPRK Economic Outlook

November 30, 2020

The 2019 DPRK Economic Outlook aims to present the interpretations and observations of Korean economists for the unknown direction in which North Korea is headed. To that end, the North Korean economy was divided into industry, trade, inflation and exchange rates, market, agriculture, food, and military economy, and 6 respective papers are presented. A separate assesment of the overall conditions is also included. The papers do not center around specific discussions or debates, but rather, focus on presenting observations that can serve as the basis for interpretation as this better contributes to raising the awareness of the objective realities of North Korea instead of fueling unnecessary controversy.