You searched for: Content Type Policy Brief Remove constraint Content Type: Policy Brief Publishing Institution East-West Center Remove constraint Publishing Institution: East-West Center Political Geography South Korea Remove constraint Political Geography: South Korea Publication Year within 5 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 5 Years Topic Reform Remove constraint Topic: Reform
- Author: Marcus Noland
- Publication Date: 04-2014
- Content Type: Policy Brief
- Institution: East-West Center
- Abstract: Economic engagement between South and North Korea is often justified as a means of encouraging economic and social evolution in North Korea, with the ultimate goal of national unification. The South has invested heavily in the North, and firms have employed more than 50,000 workers. Yet expectations of a transformational impact rest on unexamined assumptions. The North recognizes the Trojan horse nature of the engagement policy: results of an original survey of South Korean employers show that the North Korean government has largely circumscribed the exposure of its citizens to both South Koreans and market-oriented economic practices, in the process violating labor rights defined by covenants to which both countries belong. The problem seems intractable, given that South Korea's diplomatic commitment to engagement with North Korea trumps labor rights concerns and South Korean firms perceive that the North Korean status quo confers benefits. As the experience of labor rights movements elsewhere shows, conditions will likely improve only if an aroused citizenry—here, the South Koreans—demands change.
- Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations, Reform
- Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea