Why North Korea Refuses To Liberalize Its Economy Despite the Success of China

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At present there are five communist countries in the world, Vietnam, Laos, People’s Republic of China, Cuba, and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. All of these, with the exception of Cuba, are Asian countries. While Vietnam and China are on the upswing economically, North Korea remains one of the poorest. The reason for this may be because it, along with Cuba, have an entirely state run economy. In comparison to the other three Asian communist countries, North Korea has the lowest GDP per capita of the four at 1800 USD (2008). (1) With North Korea being as centrally located to two of the richest countries, Japan and China, it would seem that they would enjoy some of the same riches of these two. What has caused such differences …show more content…
With the United Nations imposing sanctions against North Korea for their nuclear program, things can only get worse for North Korea trade wise. The United States had, at one time, some trade with North Korea, but that has cease. Even with promises from the United States to help North Korea economically, they still would not comply with giving up their nuclear program. The US was also sending food aid to North Korea, but that concluded as well when North Korean officials would not allow monitoring to where the food ended up. (4) Even China, a strong ally with North Korea, justified the sanctions and was one of the unanimous votes for the sanctions.
With these sanctions in place, North Korean’s economic situation is unlikely to improve. They need more than just the backing of a regime with the power of China to keep moving forward, they need to comply with the rules that help to make China as economically sound as it has become.
Military
Although North Korea does not bring in a significant amount of money into their economy, however, most of it goes to their military. (5) The North Korean military has over one million active duty personnel. (8) It could be that as a result, North Korea has one of the largest armies in the world. (6). There are five parts to the Korean military. However, the two most important branches are the Korean Workers’ Party and the Korean People’s Army. (8) The main ideology behind the North Korean armed forces is Marxism and…

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