KOREAN UNIFICATION: THE RISING COSTS AND IMPACT OF SANCTIONS
Rees, Kevin M.
Looney, Robert E.
Barma, Naazneen H.
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This thesis seeks to address how to overcome the economic divide that separates North and South Korea should reunification transpire. The focus of this thesis will be centered on two aspects of the North Korean economy lagging behind South Korea. The first is the gap of development in industry, agriculture, national infrastructure, and education. The second area of focus will be the economic and governance costs that international sanctions have imposed on North Korea. International sanctions have been shown to cause the following: increased disputes; erosion of governance capacity; empowering of anti-reform leaders and factions; disempowering of civil society; increased likelihood of violence; potential humanitarian effects; and detrimental economic impacts on the country, region, and its allies. Findings show that North Korean economic policy decisions are largely responsible for the DPRK’s economic plight. Since the division between North and South Korea, DPRK leadership has consistently enacted economic policy decisions that can be characterized as short-sighted. These policy decisions often ignore, or are unaware of, the long-term consequences that they will create. While short-sighted, they are consistent in an attempt to maintain self-sufficiency despite a growing sense of insecurity. Decisions to maintain a strong military industrial complex and pursue nuclear weapons have resulted in international and economic isolation.
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