Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas / Edition 1

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On the Korean peninsula one of the greatest success stories of the postwar era confronts a famine-ridden--and possibly nucleararmed--totalitarian state. The stakes are extraordinarily high for both North and South Korea and for countries such as the United States that have a direct stake in these affairs. This study, the most comprehensive volume to date on the subject, examines the current situation in the two Koreas in terms of three major crises: the nuclear confrontation between the United States and North Korea, the North Korean famine, and the South Korean financial crisis. The future of the peninsula is then explored under three alternative scenarios: successful reform in North Korea, collapse and absorption (as happened in Germany), and "muddling through" in which North Korea, supported by foreign powers, makes ad hoc, regime-preserving reforms that fall short of fundamental transformation.
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Editorial Reviews

Examines the current situation in the two Koreas in terms of three major crises: the nuclear confrontation between the US and North Korea, the North Korean famine, and the South Korean financial crisis. The future of the Korean peninsula is explored under three alternative scenarios: successful reform in North Korea, collapse and absorption, and "muddling through," in which North Korea makes regime-preserving reforms that fall short of fundamental transformation. Noland has been a visiting scholar at the Korea Development Institute. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881322781
  • Publisher: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 431
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
1 Introduction 1
Divergent Paths 3
Three Crises 4
Prospects for the Future 7
Tour de Horizon 11
2 The South Korean Economy until 1997 15
Economic Policy in the 1960s 16
Economic Policy in the 1970s 19
Economic Policy under President Chun 22
The Democracy Pledge and Twenty-five Years of Development 24
Pre-Crisis Economic Policy, 1987 to 1997 29
Conclusions 57
3 The North Korean Economy 59
Organization of the North Korean Economy 61
Statistical Comparison of the North and South Korean Economies 73
Crisis Response 82
International Economic Relations 87
Current Reforms 133
Conclusions 140
4 The Nuclear Confrontation 143
The Energy Situation 143
The Nuclear Program 145
The Agreed Framework 151
The Suspect Site and the Missile Test 158
Evaluation 166
5 The Slow-Motion Famine in the North 171
The Food Balance 180
Food for Peace 182
The People's Republic of Misery 191
6 The Financial Crisis in the South 195
Financial Frugality 199
The Bubble Story 203
The Crisis 208
Post-Crisis Developments 221
Recovery 247
Conclusions 249
7 The Prospect of Successful Reform in the North 251
Reform in the North 252
A General Equilibrium Perspective on Reform 266
The Likelihood of Reform 281
8 The Implications of North Korean Collapse 285
The German Experience 286
Relevance to Korea 295
A General Equilibrium Perspective on Collapse and Absorption 301
Conceptualizing the Costs and Benefits of Unification 307
Dynamic Results 310
Policy Lessons of the German Experience for South Korea 318
Thinking Beyond the German Case 320
9 Can the North Muddle Through? 323
Socialism in One Family 324
Muddling Through in Our Own Style 333
Sustainability 342
10 Conclusions 347
North Korea 348
South Korea 352
Other Actors 367
Final Thoughts 375
References 377
Appendix 401
Index 405
Table 2.1 South Korean tariff rates
Table 2.2 Estimate of tariff-equivalents of Korean agricultural NTBs, 1992
Table 2.3 Producer subsidy equivalents, 1997
Table 2.4 Effective and nominal rates of protection, selected sectors, 1990
Table 3.1 North Korea's central plans
Table 3.2 Composition of output, 1992-96
Table 3.3 Government budget balance
Table 3.4 General government revenues, 1996
Table 3.5 Socioeconomic indicators, 1992
Table 3.6 Educational attainment rates
Table 3.7 Distribution of labor force at time of reform
Table 3.8 Capital stock and GDP regressions
Table 3.9 International income and capital stock comparisons, 1990
Table 3.10 Ratio of South Korean to North Korean GDP per capita income, 1990
Table 3.11 North Korean trading partners, 1997
Table 3.12a North Korean exports by largest commodity groups, 1997
Table 3.12b North Korean imports by largest commodity groups, 1997
Table 3.13 Aid from the USSR
Table 3.14 Aid balance sheet
Table 3.15 Estimated remittances
Table 4.1 KEDO contributions
Table 5.1 Food balance estimates
Table 5.2 Rice and corn per capita daily rations
Table 5.3 Food for talks
Table 6.1 Volatility of macroeconomic indicators and banking aggregates
Table 6.2 South Korean banks
Table 7.1 Alternative reform scenarios
Table 7.2 Actual and "natural" North Korean trade shares, 1990
Table 7.3 Prospective sectors of comparative advantage
Table 7.4 Prospective sectors of comparative advantage
Table 7.5 Prospective sectors of comparative advantage
Table 8.1 Western goods penetration
Table 8.2 East German relative price
Table 8.3 Inter-German and inter-Korean exchange
Table 8.4 Estimated costs of unification
Table 9.1 Romanian macroeconomic indicators
Figure 2.1 Financial development
Figure 2.2 Real interest rates
Figure 2.3 Share of GDP due to top 10 chaebol
Figure 2.4 Purchasing power adjusted real GDP per capita
Figure 2.5 Structure of output
Figure 2.6 Exports and imports as a share of nominal GDP
Figure 2.7 Unionized workers and labor disputes
Figure 2.8 Number of days required for customs clearance of agricultural products
Figure 2.9 Foreign direct investment
Figure 3.1 Estimates of North Korean GDP
Figure 3.2 North Korean trade
Figure 3.3 North Koran arms trade
Figure 3.4 North Korean debt and debt service - export ratio
Figure 3.5 North Korean debt prices in the secondary market
Figure 3.6 Number of South Koreans who visited the North
Figure 6.1 Saving, investment, and the current account
Figure 6.2 Capital inflows by type
Figure 6.3 Unit price of electronics and DRAMS
Figure 6.4 South Korea's nominal exchange rate and stock market changes
Figure 6.5 South Korea's real GDP growth forecast and expected real exchange rate change
Figure 7.1 Model simulation results
Figure 7.2 Food availability
Figure 7.3 Output by sector
Figure 7.4 Relative price of output by sector
Figure 7.5 Percent change in average factor price
Figure 8.1 Capital inflow and exchange rate appreciation
Figure 8.2 External capital flow: composition of output change in South Korea
Figure 8.3 External capital flow: composition of output change in North Korea
Figure 8.4 Rate of convergence and capital investment requirement
Figure 8.5 North Korea: GDP and GNP
Figure 8.6 South Korea: GDP and GNP
Figure 8.7 Factor return equalization
Figure 8.8 South Korean distribution of income
Figure 9.1 North Korean and Romanian growth rates
Box 2.1 The Strange Case of Sausages
Box 3.1 Juche as Theology
Box 3.2 A Tale of Juche Agriculture
Box 3.3 Black, Brown, and Blue Won
Box 3.4 Deadbeat Debtor
Box 3.5 The Narco-state
Box 5.1 Crying Wolf?
Box 5.2 The Issue of Military Stockpiling
Box 5.3 "9/27 Camps"
Box 5.4 Refugees
Box 6.1 Moral Hazard, the Domestic Dimension
Box 6.2 Contagion
Box 6.3 Moral Hazard, the International Dimension
Box 6.4 Shareholder Activism
Box 6.5 The 10-11 Crisis: The Shoe That Didn't Drop
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2000

    A superb work on Korea

    The Korean peninsula faces a complex foreign policy crisis involving the interplay of economic and security issues. 'Avoiding the Apocalypse' is magesterial in scope, integrating the economic, political, and security dimensions. The sheer breadth of the book is remarkable. The book covers the development of the South Korean economy and the financial crisis that has rocked the South in the past few years. It offers an insightful look into the workings of the North Korean economy, and how the failings of that economy led to both strategic adventurism and famine. The final third of the book is devoted to an analysis of future scenarios on the peninsula. Noland identifies the most likely scenario to be a strategy of ad hoc policy adjustments by the North, supported by engagement with South Korea, China, Japan, and possibly even the United States. While the book is thoroughly researched and referenced, its tone is quite lively and accessible to a broad audience -- at times even drolly humorous. An excellent and important work on Korea.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2000

    an extraordinary analysis of a hot spot

    Winston Churchill called the Soviet Union 'a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,' but then unlike Marcus Noland, he never visited North Korea. Noland has done an extraordinary job in assessing this geopolitical sore spot. He covers the globally critical nuclear and missile issues and dissects the Clinton policy. Some of the economics get a bit heavy going, but one can easily follow the thread of the argument. The book is particularly good on how developments in the North might affect economic and political developments in the South.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2000

    Great background on either Korea

    Dr. Noland¿s book is terrific source of background knowledge on both Koreas. Not only do you get a thorough analysis of the current situation, but he also outlines the history that brought both Koreas to where they are today. For the advanced student of Korean economics and politics, it is a must. Even for someone coming from a business perspective with a more casual interest in Korea, such as myself, I found the book easy to read and gave me the background to better understand the people and their economy. Dr. Noland¿s view of possible outcomes in the situation is also a fascinating read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2000

    DON'T BOTHER - BOOK LACKS REAL INFORMATION - Book has no knowledge of on the ground realities in North Korea. Pure academia.

    For someone who travels to North Korea on a regular basis I was extremely disappointed with this book. I have seen many changes take place in North Korea in the past 4 years which are completely missed in this book. The book lacks real research. As explained in the preface, the book's information is based on numerous academic conferences in the USA but not on visits to North Korea!!?? This armchair approach to writing might work well for a history book but not when you are dealing with the changing dynamics of a developing country. In addition, the title is very misleading as it gives no suggestions of how to avoid the Apocalypse or what is meant by apocalypse. There is no plan. No suggestions of efforts or projects. If that were not bad enough, the book does refer to silly ideas like the collapse of North Korea. This will be seen as ridiculous to anyone who has actually lived in the developing world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2000

    Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas

    The situation on the Korean peninsula has great importance for all of Northeast Asia. This book carefully analyses the costs of Korean unification and the costs of rebuilding the North Korea economy. Mr. Noland says that 'post-colonial payment' by Japan will be important. This issue will be a difficult one for Japan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2000

    This is bound to become the basic reference...

    We all have some books that we keep near our desks as basic references. 'Avoiding the Apocalypse' is this kind of book. It is comprehensive in scope, copiously researched, and the index is excellent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2000

    Insightful analysis of prospects on the Korean peninsula

    By drawing on other-country parallels such as German unification, or the experiences of China and Vietnam as they re-engaged with the world community, 'Avoiding the Apocalypse' provides interesting insights about N. Korea's future and the possible implications for the South. This book is unique among other N. Korea titles in that it is underpinned by rigorous economic analysis while, at the same time, exhibiting a sound understanding of geopolitical dynamics of the peninsula and of the interests of key player countries (S. Korea, Japan, US, China). The book presents a comprehensive analysis of N. Korea's economy and policies (past and present), and an assessment of future prospects for the Korea peninsula in light of several plausible alternative scenarios of policy developments in the North. 'Avoiding the Apocalypse' contains a wealth and depth of information Mr. Noland has obviously acquired through his research and interactions with key economic, political and military personalities in North and South Korea, Japan, the US and China. I found this book to be very well written, and in a style accessible to a general educated readership. Unusually for such a weighty book, the text includes cross-cultural sayings (i.e. proverbs) and metaphors, in addition to insider quotes, that make the book an interesting read indeed. I recommend the book highly for anyone interested in a thorough review of N. Korea and in knowing what the current state of play is as regards N. Korea's integration into the world community of nations. If you're interested in a fresh and intellectually stimulating perspective on the events unfolding on the Korean peninsula, this is also the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2000

    Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas

    This book is essential reading on the Korean situation. It covers both the situation in the North and the South. The treatment of the South Korean financial crisis is the best existent. The real strength of the book, though, is its pathbreaking analysis of the North.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2000

    A fascinating account of a critical issue

    This book is a delight - the author combines serious economic and political analysis with rich knowledge of institutions and history on the Korean peninsula. Moreover, he knows how to write. He makes sophisticated arguments seem easy. For readers concerned with the future of South and North Korea, this is essential reading. The book consists of a thorough overview of the current situation on the peninsula with a brief but insightful review of the historical processes that have brought us to this point. It distills in a accessible manner the vital insights from the author's formal models of the Korean economy. Most importantly, it weaves all of these different viewpoints into a coherent and persuasive story.

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