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The Short March

by Henry S. Rowenvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

When will China become a democracy? The answer is, around 2015, says Hoover fellow Henry S. Rowen.

North Korea at a Crossroads

via Analysis
Wednesday, January 1, 1997

North Korea remains a country difficult for outsiders to analyze, given the paucity of hard data. Yet certain facts have been established. The economy is in crisis, a product not only of the Russian demise and the recent floods but of the inadequacies of a Stalinist economic strategy: autarky, imbalance, and overbureaucratization. A growing number of the elite now recognize these facts, and the momentum for reform is rising despite perceived political hazards. Whether it will be in time to prevent collapse is debated by outside observers.

Politically, the effort is to maintain the existing order by reproducing Kim Il Sung in his son, Kim Jong Il. Young Kim is cultivating the military assiduously and carefully replacing his father's guerrilla generation with individuals closer to his age, some of them relatives. There are no signs of cleavage at this point, but the decision-making structure remains difficult to discern. The goal, however, is clear: total unity under the leader and party.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK's) foreign policy is rational from the North's perspective: achieve diplomatic relations with the United States and Japan while relegating the Republic of Korea (ROK) to the sidelines. Yet improvements in North-South relations will be essential if the broader goal is to be reached. Meanwhile, relations with China are relatively satisfactory but lack the old warmth, and those with Russia are still tepid not- withstanding Moscow's efforts.

Despite the uncertainties surrounding the DPRK's future, the interests of others, including the ROK and the United States, lie in seeing this state undergo an evolutionary process rather than a collapse. Thus policies should be directed toward that end, acknowledging that the outcome will depend heavily on North Korean leaders and their decisions.

North Korean Economic Reform and Political Stability

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquitavia Analysis
Saturday, June 1, 1996

Using a model with a strong track record of predictive accuracy, we posit the unraveling of Kim Jong-Il's hold over power in North Korea. Our analysis suggests that the North Korean military and leaders of heavy industry in North Korea are pivotal powers who control North Korea's destiny over the next few years. We infer from the evidence that Kim Jong-Il's family and the second generation of leaders are opportunists who are likely to break ranks with Kim Jong-Il to secure their own well-being. The result of their anticipated break with Kim Jong-Il is likely to be a slowing of economic reform and of economic openings to South Korea. North Korea is expected to enter a period of political instability that will render Kim Jong-Il little more than a figurehead. Barring strategic efforts by the partisans and some others with credible leverage, North Korea is unlikely to improve its economy or stabilize its government in the next two or three years.

The NonThreat of North Korea

via Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 1996

North Korea represents one of the last Stalinist nations on earth--a powerful military, a poor populace, and rulers who can appear deranged. Will North Korea attack South Korea, as it did in 1950? Relax, says Hoover fellow Robert J. Myers.

The Right Kind of Corruption

by Hilton L. Rootvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 1996

Payoffs and slush funds may be rampant in Asian countries such as South Korea and Taiwan, but they don't seem to have interfered with economic growth. Hoover fellow Hilton L. Root explains why.

Books

The Effect of Japanese Investment on the World Economy

via Hoover Institution Press
Thursday, April 4, 1996

A study of the controversy over Japanese foreign investments.

Lessons from Abroad

by Leslie Gardnervia Policy Review
Friday, March 1, 1996

Japan's parole models

Let's Wait for Korea to Decide

via Analysis
Thursday, February 1, 1996

After a brief period of calm in the early 1990s, the United States and Korea are about to enter a new round of trade conflict. Given the importance of bilateral trade to each other's economy and the need for sustained cooperation in the face of North Korea's nuclear program, the United States and Korea must resolve emerging trade disputes over U.S. access to Korean auto, telecommunications, and food markets.

In dealing with Korean trade barriers, however, the United States should avoid a confrontational approach. Under his "globalization" initiative, President Kim Young Sam has placed a priority on deregulation and economic liberalization. Even without U.S. pressure, then, Korea will open its markets for its own good. If the current reforms in Korea do stall, the United States should consider offering a free trade agreement to Korea unilaterally and waiting for Korea to decide. This will give the people of Korea a chance to choose what kind of economy they want to have.

Korea Opens Its Markets . . . Slowly

by Jongryn Movia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 30, 1996

Reporting on two Hoover conferences on Korea, Hoover fellow Jongryn Mo asserts that Koreans are, slowly, opening their markets. And growing feisty.

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