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About ICNK

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North Korea A Transition Economy

North Korea has begun a historic process of transition away from a very centrally planned and isolated economy toward a new economic system. Accumulated economic difficulties, internal dissatisfaction, and international pressure have precipitated a decade-plus of change. Though serious international concerns about North Korea's nuclear program remain, the relevant political actors are working toward a resolution. Once one is forged, North Korea will no doubt invite the international community to assist its economic development.

Preparing for Deeper Economic Reform and International Assistance

It is important to anticipate and prepare for the time when North Korea will welcome international assistance to deepen its economic reforms and accelerates its development. Such preparation will facilitate the early and constructive engagement by international financial institutions and other multilateral and bilateral aid agencies. Preparation should include analysis of North Korea's economic challenges, planning for sequenced reforms and investments in key sectors, and training of government officials and others in modalities for international assistance.

The Center for International Cooperation for North Korean Development

For this purpose, the Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES) established the Center for International Cooperation for North Korean Development (ICNK) in late 2004. Drawing upon our institute's professional staff and facilities, affiliated graduate school, network of experts, solid reputation, and long history of research dealing with North Korean-related affairs, the Center is in an excellent position to approach and engage the appropriate experts and organizations that can contribute to the preparation for international assistance to North Korea.


ICNK will pursue the following objectives: Facilitate productive interaction between the international development community    and North Korea Conduct research and evaluate roadmaps for North Korean development Work cooperatively with North Korean institutions and potential development partners    in designing and promoting effective programs and projects Create a worldwide network of experts who can contribute toward North Korea's    development Strengthen institutional capacities within North Korea to work productively    with development partners Work to eliminate other barriers impeding cooperation