Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland take up the question of whether Vietnam could be a model for North Korea in an op-ed for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog. They argue that US sanctions against the Hermit Kingdom did not have the anticipated effect but played at least some role in getting the summit process going. Sanctions relief is clearly critical for any wider reform process.
But going Vietnam's route may be harder than it looks. Vietnam won its civil war, and if North Korea emulates the South, it will look like a second-rate imitator. The North Korean and Vietnamese economies are also structured differently, with North Korea even more dependent on economic opening if it is to succeed. Hanoi is not the end of the road: It is only the beginning. But the case of Vietnam made it clear that the sequencing of sanctions is the central issue going forward.
Read the full op-ed:
Here's why Kim Jong Un put sanctions first — and why North Korea is not Vietnam
Monkey Cage, Washington Post
February 28, 2019