North and South Korea have started talks, potentially defusing the tension in the region. Time for a new and more positive approach of China’s unruly neighbor, says Harry Broadman, former PwC Emerging Markets Investment Leader; in Gulf News. For example by nurturing the country’s private sector. It might be coming as a surprise for many, but North Korea does have a private sector, Broadman writes.
The world has marvelled that South Korea and North Korea have had their first dialogue in two years, paving the way for the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.
But few seem struck by the obvious lesson: a dose of incentives alongside the disincentives of sanctions championed by the US and passed unanimously by the UN Security Council, may well be the policy mix to pursue with Kim Jong-un. Without overstating the impact a changed prescription along these lines might have on Kim’s conduct, it’s hard not to argue that at this juncture the world surely needs to get far more creative in dealing with Pyongyang.
To this end, one area that has a hope of progress is for the US and other members of the Security Council to support economic reforms that give life to North Korea’s nascent private sector. Indeed, this change in therapeutic approach could be just what the doctor ordered.
It will shock most readers to know that North Korea already has a private sector, albeit of limited scale and scope. As best as those of us who assess such things can tell from the paucity of opportunities for first-hand observation in light of Pyongyang’s political regime.
And, these businesses have begun to grow materially over the last decade. Arguably, they may well be ripe for nurturing.
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