Seoul Conference on Doing Business in North Korea
This is short notice, but we were alerted to an upcoming conference at Kyungnam University’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES) titled “Doing Business in North Korea: Opportunities and Challenges” which will take place from 1 – 6PM on January 28th. (According to the .pdf instructions, you will be able to register on-site and there will be simultaneous Korean/English interpretation.)
For our readers in Seoul, this might be interesting to attend for more reasons than one. Not only does it include a number of our Western friends who have had a go at doing business in the country, such as Tony Michell, it also promises to cast light on how North Korea watchers in Seoul read the future of Trustpolitik. Note that the event is sponsored by a financial institution (Kyongnam Bank), which implies at least some degree of real commercial interest.
We have argued here for the lifting of the May 24 sanctions; does this conference signal the perception that a thaw is around the corner on commercial trade? And if so, does this imply a widening divergence with Washington, which seems to be moving in the opposite direction? Or is this simply more starry-eyed cheerleading?