Russian scholar to discuss N. Korea reform

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 3, 2015 - 19:39
  • Updated : Jun 3, 2015 - 19:39

Kookmin University professor Andrei Lankov will discuss reform in North Korea, and the changes the country is making under leader Kim Jong-un during a talk Tuesday hosted by the royal Asiatic Society’s Korea Branch.

Lankov will discuss the idea that, unlike his father who believed that emulating the Chinese path to success was too risky, Kim Jong-un has shown interest in serious change.

He will discuss how the household responsibility system is being introduced in agriculture, managers of state industries are being given unprecedented freedoms and the black market is being “benignly neglected” by Pyongyang while foreign investors are courted.

Lankov will argue that this has led to a significant improvement in the economic situation, but that the political risks remain.

Andrei Lankov is a professor of history at Kookmin University in Seoul and has written books on North Korea including “The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia.”

The lecture starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Somerset Palace near Anguk Station in Seoul. Admission is free for RASKB members and 7,000 won ($6.30) for nonmembers.