Economy and Nuclear Development: The Case of North Korea


  • Phanorn Powcharoen คณะรัฐศาสตร์และนิติศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยบูรพา


North Korea, North Korea economy, Nuclear Weapons State, Reunification of Korea


This article studies the relations between economic development and state security of North Korea. In the early stage of the Cold War period, North Korea has a high level of economic development through the implementation of economic policy specifically focusing on heavy industry development. North Korea’s economic level far exceeds those of South Korea’s that it gives a full hope to the North Korean leader to realize the unification of Korea under its own terms. However, the situation begins to reverse in the 1960s when North Korea faces with economic difficulty that the overall level of economic development falls behind those of South Korea’s for the first time. Despite economic hardship, it turns out that North Korea pushes ahead with its military development. Military capabilities development of North Korea become higher as time passes that reaches to the point of nuclear crisis as soon as the Cold War has ended.


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