Future Multilateral Economic Engagement With North Korea

The foreign policy community has long recognized that Northeast Asia lags behind other regions of the world in the development of institutional mechanisms for intergovernmental cooperation. Recent events and continuing trends in the area—the People's Republic of China's burgeoning activism, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) nuclear crisis, and growing economic interdependence, to name only three—have made the need for such mechanisms more pressing than ever before. Not only are they critically important to the development of stable relations between the countries of Northeast Asia, they are critical to US economic and security interests.

Read more about the Future Multilateral Economic Engagement With North Korea initiative >>

Future Multilateral Economic Cooperation With the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (PDF 131KB)
June 15-17, 2005

Economic restructuring and development in the DPRK is critical and will require cooperation and a collective effort by leading international institutions in order to be maximally effective. This report addresses the challenges for economic reconstruction and puts forth recommendations for how the international community can best engage the DPRK.

The following papers were presented at the June conference. Each paper served as the basis for a larger discussion of economic engagement with the DPRK.

Bradley Babson — "Future Multilateral Economic Cooperation With the Democratic People's Republic of Korea: An Exploration of Issues and Options"
This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for establishing a system of multilateral economic cooperation with the DPPK after an agreement is reached on the political, economic, and security cooperation principles that will govern the DPRK's future relations with the international community.

Robert Carlin — "Notes From KEDO's Experience"
This paper explores the nuts-and-bolts experiences of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) over the last ten years as it has worked with the DPRK.

Ari Kokko — "Economic Reforms and Skill Requirements in DPRK"
Without the support from its allies, North Korea has faced severe difficulties in managing its command economy. This paper examines the economic development in the DPRK since the early 1990s, the reforms that have been undertaken since 2002, and some of the development challenges for the North Korean economy during the coming years.

Chang Jae Lee — "Trade and Investment in North Korea"
The current status of North Korea's foreign trade and investment is examined in this paper and some policy directions to develop them are suggested.

Hazel Smith — "Future Multilateral Cooperation with the DPRK: Food Security and Agriculture"
Smith reviews the data on food security and agriculture in the DPRK and investigates the meaning of the term food security as understood by the DPRK government and the UN agencies working in the DPRK before reviewing the causes and condition of food insecurity in the DPRK.

Hisako Tsuji — "The Transport Infrastructure of the DPRK"
This paper provides an overview of the DPRK's transport infrastructure, as well as an outline of the problems facing the current infrastructure and its future development.

David Von Hippel and Peter Hayes — "The DPRK Energy Sector: Recent Status, Problems, Cooperation Opportunities, and Constraints"
The authors review the recent history and current status of the DPRK energy sector, list some of the key energy sector problems facing the DPRK, and offer suggestions as to opportunities for international cooperation on DPRK energy sector problems, highlighting the opportunities that could encourage the development of regional infrastructure.

Erich Weingartner — "Social Development Issues: Education, Health and Social Protection"
Weingartner addresses the challenges and opportunities the DPRK faces in developing its social infrastructure and recommends a series of steps that can be taken to promote cooperation in social development.

Future Multilateral Economic Cooperation With the DPRK

Sponsored by The Stanley Foundation and The German Council on Foreign Relations
June 15-17, 2005
InterContinental Hotel, Berlin, Germany

Assuming the Six-Party Talks can resume and some resolution can be reached, economic cooperation with North Korea will have to be undertaken straightaway. Policymakers need to understand the importance of development and economic aid in maintaining North Korean cooperation and stability. This conference brought together representatives of involved governments, thinks tanks, and policymakers to discuss the opportunities and challenges for economic engagement with North Korea.