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The Political Economy of North Korea: Domestic, Regional, and Global Dynamics

Min-Hua Chiang, editor
The Political Economy of North Korea: Domestic, Regional, and Global Dynamics
ISBN: 978-1-955055-45-1
ISBN: 978-1-955055-65-9
2022/283 pages/LC: 2022006399
"A well-edited, cohesive volume on the fundamental goals and strategies of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un to define the DPRK's economic structure and outcomes.... Highly recommended." —Choice

"An excellent and comprehensive analysis.... Recommended for anyone interested in understanding this seemingly incomprehensible state."—Byung-Yeon Kim, Seoul National University

"Manages to do justice to the complex economic issues, while placing them in a broader strategic and political context. An essential read for anyone interested in the political economy of North Korea." —Stephan Haggard, University of California San Diego


Driven by foreign investments and exports, the economies of many East Asian countries have seen dramatic growth—but North Korea has lagged behind. Why? What are the country's prospects for development? In what ways do its external relations affect its domestic economy?

To answer these questions, the authors of The Political Economy of North Korea delve deeply into the economic policies of the successive Kim rulers. The result is a systematic overview of North Korea's economic development and the wide range of domestic, regional, and global factors at play.


Min-Hua Chiang is a research fellow and economist in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation.


  • The North Korean Puzzle—M.-H. Chiang.
  • A Self-Reliance Economy Under Kim Il-Sung—W.B. Brown.
  • Economic Transformation Under Kim Jong Il—S. Lee.
  • Byongjin Economic Policy Under Kim Jong-Un—Y.-c. Chung, Y.-h. Kim, and K. Moon.
  • Cooperation with South Korea—H.-y. Lee.
  • Support from China—T.Y. Kong.
  • The Renewed Role of Russia—O. Garanina.
  • The Importance of Japan—Y. Jo.
  • Relations with the United States—T. Stangarone.
  • The Evolving Role of Europe—A. Bondaz.
  • Foreign Policy and Nuclear Development Strategy—D. Roy.
  • The Limitations of UN Sanctions—M.-H. Chiang.
  • Whither North Korea’s Economy?—M.-H. Chiang.