Future Multilateral Economic Engagement With North Korea

The aim of this Stanley Foundation initiative is to prepare a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for the establishment of a system for multilateral economic engagement with DPRK.

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.

The project began with Phase I, which focused on conducting research, framing the issues that should be addressed, and planning a consultative process that would bring together the perspectives of the major stakeholders concerned with these issues. This phase stimulated crosscutting discussions on how to address economic cooperation issues with North Korea. A working group was established to undertake these tasks and prepare for the next phase.

Phase II includes a conference of about 20 knowledgeable experts from multilateral organizations, Northeast Asia, the United States, and other concerned countries. It will culminate with the production of a report that provides conclusions and policy recommendations and a dissemination and briefings program.