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North Korea April 2004 Tim Beal & Don Borrie Presentation to CID 14 May 2004 Overview Background Potted history of modern Korea NZ-DPRK society Bridge-building This trip PCANZ initiatives Current situation Description, photos, video…discussion 11 hours of video, 900+ photos

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north korea april 2004

North KoreaApril 2004

Tim Beal & Don Borrie

Presentation to CID 14 May 2004

  • Background
    • Potted history of modern Korea
  • NZ-DPRK society
    • Bridge-building
      • This trip
      • PCANZ initiatives
  • Current situation
    • Description, photos, video…discussion
      • 11 hours of video, 900+ photos
  • Korea Japanese colony 1910-45
  • 1945 – divided by US/USSR into north and south
    • Turmoil, repression
      • North: landlords, collaborators, Christians flee south
      • South; Cheju uprising crushed – 20% population killed
  • 1948 – two contesting states established
contesting states
Contesting states
  • Republic of Korea (ROK)
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)
    • Soviet and US troops withdraw
    • Skirmishes
  • 1950 June -war erupts – North occupies most of South
korea war
Korea war
  • US (UN) intervention
  • Chinese intervention
  • Stalemate
  • July 1953 – Armistice
    • Still no peace treaty
  • 1958 Chinese withdraw; US introduces nuclear weapons
    • Still 37,000 US troops in ROK
economic growth
Economic growth
  • North initially had faster economic growth
    • Above world average until 1980s
  • ROK had access to US aid, market, export-led growth
  • DPRK has access to Soviet/Chinese aid, but market smaller
    • Barred from US/international markets

Per capita GNP, North and South Korea, 1953-1990

Source: Eui-Gak Hwang, The Korean economies , Table 3.11, pp. 120-1

soviet collapse
Soviet collapse
  • 1980s DPRK economy in difficulties
  • 1990 – Soviet collapse leads to crisis

North Korea’s GDP growth rates, 1990-2002

Source: Bank of Korea, Gross Domestic Product of North Korea in 2002, KOTRA,.(11 June 2003).

cascading crisis
Cascading crisis
  • Trade>>Industry >>Agriculture
    • Agricultural growth founded on industrial inputs eg fertiliser, electricity, irrigation, Mechanisation
  • Natural disasters in mid nineties>> contained famine> international aid
human cost
Human cost
  • Some Western estimates up to 3+ million
  • Latest SK estimate of deaths 1996-2000
    • From 25/60,000 up 1.2 million
    • WFP tends to agree
  • Substantial malnutrition amongst vulnerable groups
    • UNICEF/FAO/WFP surveys
policy implications
Policy implications
  • Domestic
    • Electricity shortage ..nuclear power
      • Produced conflict with UU
    • Economic reforms – esp. since July 2002
    • 7 Major Tasks
      • Eg organic and microbial fertilizer to replace chemical
  • Internationally
    • Normalisation of relations with US, lifting of sanctions
      • Normalisation with Japan – trade, reparations ($8-10b)
dprk rok
  • Political – esp. 2000 summit Kim Jong Il, Kim Dae-jung
  • Economic interaction –trade, investment, tourism
economic reform and marketisation
Economic reform and marketisation
  • Constrained by geopolitical situation – US policy
    • Washington holds the key
  • July 2002 – substantial price, wage and marketisation reforms
  • For those with money things are much better
    • Access to domestic and international products
  • For urban unemployed things getting worse
    • Shift to agricultural with people replacing machines
  • Those with better land, access to fertilisers, gravity-fed irrigation etc. and markets better off
  • Others still struggling




  • PIINTEC was founded in Oct. 2003, as a non-governmental and non-profit organization with the support and participation of a wide range of academic, industrial and social institutions of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and foreign NGOs to join a global partnership for development.
  • PIINTEC aims to provide an opportunity for exchange and cooperation in the fields of economy, technology and science between universities, research institutes, enterprises, individuals and NGOs of the DPRK and other countries.
  • PIINTEC’ s special position is calling it to be at the centre of knowledge transfer among DPRK and foreign institutions, organizations and individuals. It provides a way for exchange and to bring the latest information to and from the DPRK.
  • It, therefore, could very well function as a catalyst for further economic and sustainable development of the DPRK on a non-governmental level.
  • Assisting businessmen, scientists and technicians to develop exchange programs
  • Arranging joint research programs between universities and research institutes of the DPRK and foreign countries and providing opportunities for Korean experts to travel abroad and study advanced economy, science and technology
  • Organizing the Pyongyang International Book Fair for Science and Technology in partnership with the DPRK Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries
  • Introducing foreign scientific and technical publications and information materials and disseminating them throughout the country
  • Inviting foreign scientists and technicians for joint research and lectures in specific fields of new technology and economy in DPRK
  • Building databases on New Technology Informationand disseminating them through the local intranet and other means on a widest possible scale
  • Providing services as Patent and Trademark Agency
  • Providing consultancy services to foreign institutions and companies interested in scientific exchange and economic cooperation with the DPRK including joint venture, investment, export and import business
  • Creating a green technology park for sustainable development at Hwasong-ri, Ryongsong District, Pyongyang City
photos video discussion
Photos, video, discussion
  • Photos: street scenes, farm, shops
  • Video
    • Nick Bonner, Koryo Tours, Beijing
    • Rehearsal for concert
    • Parade for opening of arts festival
    • Egyptians
    • Performance
    • Pyongyang cityscape
    • Pongsu church
    • Korea-NZ Friendship school
    • Korea-NZ Friendship Farm
    • WFP-funded biscuit factory
    • World Food Programme- Richard Ragan and Jakob Kern