Joonho Kim’s “Economic Engagement with North Korea – Opportunities and Challenges”

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

GWIKS SJP Circle: “Economic Engagement with North Korea – Opportunities and Challenges”

Economic Engagement with North Korea – Opportunities and Challenges

with Dr. Joongho Kim

Friday, April 27, 2018
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Light lunch will be served
The Elliott School of International Affairs
Chung-Wen Shih Conference Room
Sigur Center for Asian Studies



Lecture Topic

North Korea is a country of hunger and isolation. Its leadership has consistently pursued the national goal of making the country “powerful and prosperous.” Amidst the pressure of regime rivalry with the South, North Korea has consumed most of its resources to secure the regime’s survival rather than for the people’s welfare. In actuality, North Korea has great potential for economic development. However, despite its internal and external conditions changing dynamically, the North Korean economy has been left behind and remains severely unbalanced.

In order to find better ways to facilitate North Korea’s integration with the global economy, Dr. Kim will discuss the issue of how to engage with North Korea by exploring opportunities and challenges.

About Joongho Kim

Joongho Kim is currently a Visiting Scholar at the GW Institute for Korean Studies. Dr. Kim served as a senior research fellow at the Research Institute for North Korea and Northeast Asia Development at the Export-Import Bank of Korea. Additionally, Dr. Kim taught at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and served as a research analyst at the Institute of Foreign Affairs & National Security (IFANS) of the Korean Foreign Ministry. His research interests include strategic ways to facilitate North Korea’s economic and financial reform.


Institute for Korean Studies (GWIKS) was established at the George Washington University to strengthen and grow the existing Korean Studies program at GW and promote the Korean humanities in the nation’s capital. It is determined to play a leadership role in encouraging and enabling productive research about Korea in the Washington DC metropolitan area. GWIKS Lecture Series is an attempt to bring leading local scholars in Korean studies to GW to interact with GW professionals and students and share their ideas and recent studies.


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