On April 27, GWIKS Soh Jaipil Circle invited Dr. Joongho Kim to deliver his presentation “Economic Engagement with North Korea – Opportunities and Challenges”. Dr. Kim is a current Visiting Scholar at GW Institute for Korean Studies and previously worked as a senior research fellow at the Research Institute for North Korea and Northeast Asia Development at the Export-Import Bank of Korea. In his presentation, Dr. Joongho Kim covered a wide range of topics including the political nature of North Korean economy, its shortcomings, economic changes under the Kim Jong Un regime and its potential for economic growth. Furthermore, Dr. Kim’s talk emphasized the need to understand both the political and business factors that affect the economy of North Korea, and stressed the importance of assisting North Korea in maximizing its potential for economic development. In addition, Dr. Kim pointed out several key tasks we must undertake to stimulate the future international investment and engagement in the North Korean economy. Firstly, we must anticipate signs of North Korea’s transitions and, secondly, properly evaluate inter-Korean economic cooperation. The presentation ended with a Q&A sessions where many of the questions asked by the audience related to Dr. Kim’s thoughts on which nation-state actor would be the most likely to actively seek out a participating role in the growth of North Korea’s economy.
Written by Soo-Jin Kweon