The True Gold Standard (Second Edition)
Following North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-il’s death in December 2011, many around the world had high hopes that his successor (and son), Kim Jong-un, would launch economic and political reforms. Unfortunately, in the year and a half since he assumed power, the new supreme leader has not delivered on his advertised economic reforms, and misery continues to grip all but those in North Korea’s communist ruling class.
During the past few months, North Korea has been the subject of outsized news coverage. The recent peacocking by the Supreme Leader – from domestic martial law policies to tests of the country’s nuclear weapons capabilities – has successfully distracted the media from North Korea’s economic woes.
Indeed, behind the saber-rattling, the missile tests, and the basketball games with Dennis Rodman, is an economic story – one with important geopolitical implications, not only for North Korea, but also for China.