A constantly recurring question is how decades of chronic food insecurity interspersed with food emergencies and even outright famine may affect the long-term physical and mental health of the North Korean people. Since we cannot do direct scientific study of the North Korean population, thinking on this issue is by its very nature speculative. One way [...]
Following the formal coronation of the Kim Jong Eun in early 2012, a boomlet of optimism followed some purported statements on reform: the so-called June 28 directive (“On the Establishment of a New Economic Management System in our Own Way”) and a speech entitled ““Let Us Effect Kim Jong Il’s Patriotism and Step Up the [...]
I do not know what motivated the North Koreans to repeatedly threaten the US over the last couple of months, but I do know what the effect has been: the threats greatly narrow the Obama Administration’s options going forward, especially with respect to any action that would require Congressional approval. It is particularly difficult for [...]
In 2012, the Human Rights Foundation created a new prize with a doubly-great title: the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent. Why doubly great? Because we always admired Havel and because the idea of “creative dissent” captures so well the difficult, David vs. Goliath nature of resistance to tyrannical regimes. Asia was strongly represented in [...]
Last week, we wrote a stand-alone post against new sanctions on Iran that require academic journals to turn away submissions from Iranian officials, defined broadly to include scientists and engineers employed by state-owned enterprises. We thought this was a bad idea; science thrives by drawing on the entire human talent pool. Not to engage Iranian [...]
An occupational hazard of working on the North Korean food economy is crying wolf. North Korea suffers from chronic food insecurity; this can be seen in the first figure below. We present two estimates of the aggregate food balances, a measure of the surplus or deficit in the aggregate supply and demand for food. The [...]
When it comes to North Korea, it’s a dirty little Washington secret that the “humanitarian community” sometimes looks askance at the “human rights community” out of fear that the latter will mess up the former’s gig. Some of this concern may reflect genuine differences in priorities, though grubby financial and bureaucratic self-interest may play a [...]
While the Park-Obama summit has rightly been seen as a success so far, it was preceded by one small diplomatic failure: the inability of the two sides to reach agreement on a new nuclear cooperation or “123” agreement (after the relevant section of the 1954 Atomic Energy Act). The existing agreement does not lapse until [...]
Part II of Marcus Noland’s Peterson Perspectives interview can be found here. The interview is also streaming below. In the interview, Noland continues discussing the relevant topics associated with President Park’s Washington visit.
Part I of Marcus Noland’s Peterson Perspectives interview on the Korea-US Summit can be found here. In the interview, Noland discusses South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s visit to the U.S. and the many pressing issues that will surely be part of the agenda as she meets with President Obama and the Congress.