North Korea: Economic Leverage and Policy Analysis
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In early and mid-2009, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea DPRK or North Korea embarked on a course that included a series of extremely provocative military actions, a shift in power toward the military, emphasis on ideological purity, rising criticism of the United States, and going forward with its nuclear and missile program in spite of sanctions and objections from much of the rest of the world. As 2009 ended, the DPRK was in the midst of a charm offensive in which it took specific actions to ease tensions with the United States and South Korea and appears to have reinvigorated its relationship with China. Two factors seem to have operated to compel the more aggressive behavior by Pyongyang. The first is the apparent stroke by North Koreas leader, Kim Jong-il, in August 2008. The country appeared to be preparing for succession, and in jockeying for position, the military seemed to have gained power. Kim Jong-il now seems to have recovered his health. The second has been preparations for the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the DPRK, in 2012. By then the country wants to join the club of nuclear and space powers and to be an Asian tiger economy. The charm offensive seems to be aimed at restoring inflows of economic assistance and trade flows.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science