Addressing North Korean security challenges through non-state-centric international economic engagement

Brendan Howe, Jason Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose - Discuss the potential of non-state centric economic cooperation. Design/methodology/approach - Traditional engagement policies vis-à-vis North Korea have been state-centric, reciprocity-driven and ultimately, unsuccessful. This article proposes the promotion of sustainable, good-faith and meaningful economic exchanges by enrolling the active participation of North Korean elites through alignment with their vested interests. Findings - Although controversial and even abhorrent from a normative perspective, the approach is eminently pragmatic and necessary to address the limited policy alternatives of an increasingly insecure regime which may eventually be forced to pursue drastic means to ensure its survival. Practical implications - Non-state-centric international economic engagement is a non-exclusive policy prescription that seeks to broaden the range of viable policy options available to the North Korean regime. Originality/value - This research shows the value of an alternate approach in economic engagement with North Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-54
Number of pages16
JournalNorth Korean Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2014


  • Non-State-Centric International Economic Engagement (NSCIEE)
  • North Korean economic policy
  • Special Economic Zones (SEZ)
  • Track Two


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