Stories Filed Under “Publications”

Growth and Geography of Markets in North Korea

BKS Markets CoverMarkets have grown to become an integral part of the North Korean economy ever since the famine of the 1990s and the breakdown of the planned economy. Across the country, most cities have several of these markets, and North Koreans are dependent on them for a significant part of their food consumption. Markets first sprang up illegally as a response to the breakdown of the public distribution system. Since then, many markets have been formalized and integrated into the public finance system through taxes and administrative permits.
Growth and Geography of Markets in North Korea: New Evidence from Satellite Imagery,” focuses on these formalized markets in North Korea. It relies on a dataset specifically created for this research to understand the growth of the markets over time and patterns in their geographical distribution. The purpose of this study is to build an understanding of how the markets have developed and why they are seemingly more prominent in some cities than in others.
This report was the first in a series of reports that USKI will publish as a part of our “New Voices on the DPRK Economy” program, designed to promote new research and the professional development of young scholars interested in the North Korean economy. Co-developed by the US-Korea Institute at SAIS and the National Committee on North Korea,  this program provides a new generation of scholars on the North Korean economy with a singular opportunity to strengthen their analytical skills and increase their visibility. In addition to producing important policy-relevant, practical research, this project will help rising scholars deepen their ability to frame and tackle policy questions by working with senior scholars from research design to completion.
Download “Growth and Geography of Markets in North Korea: New Evidence from Satellite Imagery,” by Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein. Part of the “New Voices” report series published by the US-Korea Institute at SAIS.
Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein is a Ph.D. student in History at the University of Pennsylvania where he focuses on North Korean political history. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 2015 with an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics, concentrating in Korea Studies. He is a non-resident Kelly Fellow at Pacific Forum CSIS and has written on Korean affairs for publications like Jane’s Intelligence Review. He is also co-editor of the website North Korean Economy Watch.

Young Professionals Paper Series (YPPS) 2015: Call for Papers

The Sejong Society of Washington, D.C. is issuing a call for papers for the Young Professionals Paper Series 2015. YPPS is designed to promote and publish original work by graduate students and young professionals who are interested in writing about issues related to Korea. Through YPPS, Sejong Society strives to create an avenue for individuals interested in Korean affairs to publish quality research.

Selected papers will be published by Sejong Society and the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS. Papers published through YPPS will be accessible to the general public and may serve as a useful resource for those working in or studying Korea-related issues.

For YPPS 2015, Sejong Society aims to select up to 5 papers. Authors of selected proposals will receive guidance from the Directors of Research at Sejong Society throughout the duration of the program. Graduate students and young professionals are encouraged to apply by following the guidelines and information below.

Paper Guidelines

Proposal submission deadline: January 4, 2014.

  1. Originality and  Deliverability
    All papers that are submitted to YPPS should be original work. Selected papers should not be published and presented elsewhere in any form. Papers should demonstrate the interests or expertise of the author. The author must be solely capable of delivering the proposed research.
  1. Topics
    Essentially all topics related to Korea are welcome, subject to review and approval of Sejong Society. Topics may be related to: international relations, politics, economics, business, trade, development, culture, history, law, diplomacy, security, defense, and others.
    Regardless of regional scope (i.e. South Korea, U.S.-South Korea, China-Japan-South Korea, etc.) the paper should maintain an emphasis on either South Korea or North Korea.
  1. Form
    Research papers, policy papers, analytical papers, and others are welcome, subject to review and approval of Sejong Society.
  1. Length and Quality
    Final papers should not exceed 10-12 pages in length, single spaced. Content should be substantiated by credible references and research at the graduate level.
  1. Publishing
    Sejong Society, in collaboration with the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, will edit and publish final papers as part of YPPS 2015. Papers will be available to a wide audience in Washington, D.C. Final papers will be published in mid-2015.

Submitting a Proposal

Interested authors should submit:

  • A single-spaced, 1-page proposal of providing details on the paper and topic. The proposal must include the following:(a) Objective (what the research seeks to achieve)
    (b) Purpose (why the topic should be explored)
    (c) Context/background
    (d) Anticipated relevance or anticipated impact of study
    (e) Research approach
  • Proposal should include:
    • Full Name
    • Age
    • Email Address
    • Telephone
    • Affiliated Institution or employer
    • CV/Resume

Sejong Society will be accepting proposals until January 4, 2015. Submit proposals to:

The ABCs of North Korean SEZs

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 – The ABCs of North Korean SEZs

USKI Policy Brief: “Taiwan and Japan: The Good Neighbor Faces History Issues”

The Japanese islands are surrounded by a group of nations—Russia, South Korea, North Korea and China—where historic relations remain frayed, territorial disputes remain unresolved, and residual anger from harsh colonialism and past wars continue to sour relations. While Japan’s relations continue to deteriorate with China and South Korea over historical and territorial issues, the island of Taiwan stands out singularly as Japan’s good neighbor. ~ Dennis P. Halpin

2014 1024 Halpin - Taiwan Japan Neighbors_FinalIn recent years, Japan and Taiwan have pursued multiple bilateral cultural and economic projects despite unresolved historical issues from World War II. USKI Visiting Scholar Dennis P. Halpin discusses legacy of Japanese imperialism and Comfort Women as more than a bilateral challenge for Japan and South Korea, and suggests future Taiwan-Japan cooperation on historical topics could set a precedent for reconciliation in East Asia.

Download the USKI Policy Brief: “Taiwan and Japan: The Good Neighbor Faces History Issues,” by Dennis P. Halpin.

Dennis P. Halpin is a Visiting Scholar at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is a former adviser on Asian issues to the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He served as a State Department Foreign Service officer in Taipei, Beijing, Seoul and Pusan.

Report Release: “Cell Phones in North Korea” Now Available in Korean

The U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS and Voice of America announces the Korean translation of, “Cell Phones in North Korea: Has North Korea Entered the Telecommunications Revolution?” by Yonho Kim.

존스홉킨스국제대학원한미연구소 (U.S.-Korea Institute at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University) 와 ‘미국의소리’ 방송 (Voice of America)이공동후원한 연구보고서“북한의휴대전화이용실태: 북한의통신혁명은시작됐는가?” (김연호 저)의 한국어판이 발간되었다.

이 보고서는 북한의 휴대전화 사용증가와 시사점을 분석하기 위해 다음과 같은 질문을 던진다.  북한 휴대전화 사용자들은 누구인가? 단말기 보급 및 요금 책정은 어떻게 이루어지는가? 북한주민의 휴대전화 사용실태는 어떠한가? 휴대전화 보급이 가져온 사회경제적 영향은 무엇인가?

또한 저자는 북한 공식 이동통신회사 고려링크의 사업구조를 소개하고 이집트 이동통신사인 오라스콤의 수익성 및 사업지속성과의 관련성을분석한다.

이보고서는 “북한의휴대전화 이용실태북한의통신혁명은시작됐는가?” 에서 다운로드 할 수 있다.

The original English version is available here.

Young Professionals Paper Series (YPPS)

The U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS and the Sejong Society of Washington, DC are pleased to announce the inaugural publication of the Young Professionals Paper Series (YPPS). Launched under the Research Directorate of the Sejong Society, YPPS is an initiative designed to generate original policy literature by young professionals and graduate students on issues relating to the Korean peninsula. The program provided participants with the unique opportunity to be mentored by established Korea policy experts throughout the research and writing process, and to ultimately be published in cooperation with the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS.

To download the publication and learn more about YPPS, visit our Young Professionals Paper Series page.

USKI Policy Brief: “Abe Plays the North Korea Card”

Ironically, given the current political tensions in the region, Abe could end up having his first bilateral East Asian
summit with none other than North Korea’s Kim Jong Un—neither of whom have yet been invited to Beijing, though for entirely different reasons. ~ Dennis P. Halpin


With the recent round of Japan-North Korea informal talks in China last weekend and reported hopes for another round of formal bilateral negotiations in the near future, Dennis P. Halpin examines the possible motivations driving this seeming rapprochement.

Download the USKI Policy Brief: “Abe Plays the North Korea Card,” by Dennis P. Halpin.

Dennis P. Halpin is currently a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea, U.S. consul in Pusan, and a House Foreign Affairs Committee staff member for over twelve years.