Throughout North Korea’s history, it has regarded external relations with suspicion and as a potential threat to its regime. With North Korea working towards denuclearization, there is now hope for an economic opening. This book examines the external economic strategies that North Korea may consider for its reforms and development, which are related to the East Asian economic integration process.

This book emphasizes that considering theoretical factors as well as conditions of the North Korean economy, economic opening and integration should have high priority, anteceding or at least being parallel to economic reforms and transformation. Also, among various alternative strategies for achieving the goal of economic reform and development based on economic opening, the utilization of East Asian regional economic integration framework would be the best option for North Korea, because this framework can provide an opportunity for North Korea to overcome structural problems in its external economic relations and to circumvent political conflicts, thus leading to a smoother rapprochement towards economic opening.

This book is timely as it shows how a new economic recovery strategy on the Korean Peninsula may be accomplished.