In a hope to bring positive social change as well as interest in the economy of North Korea and democratization of North Korean citizens, GAEE Seoul and Youth Forum of North Korea Democratization hosts 2020 North Korea Economy and Democratization Essay Contest sponsored by the Ministry of Unification.
We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 North Korea Economy & Democratization Essay Contest. We have had a fantastic response to the competition, with submissions from high schools across Korea. Thank you to everyone who submitted your entries.
North London Collegiate School
Enterprise of North and South Korea, a pathway to the peaceful unification
North Korea claims that their economic system is perfectly normal and stable. Majority of the North Korean propagandas and media, such as “With our race” claim that South Korean and other capitalist economy couldn’t catch up North Korean economic growth. However, based on the statistics provided by the World Bank and the UN, it seems the South Korean economy is well above the economic development rate of North Korea. There have been constant observations that North Korean national economic income is significantly lower than any other Asian countries, due to several factors such as unfair distribution of wealth, dictatorship of Kim’s Bbaek-du royal family, and even natural disasters. In order to effectively manage the North Korean economy to prepare for successful and efficient unification, there needs to be constant comparison between these two states’ economies along with establishment of joint enterprise.
Korea International School (Jeju)
Advantages of North Korea and South Korea’s Economy
It has been divided into two countries, South and North Korea for nearly 70 years, starting with the Korean War. South Korea has established itself as a developed country, but North Korea remains an economically underdeveloped country. However, North Korea's economic power, which is isolated like an island, is so devastating that it is doubtful whether it is the same East Asian region. First, North Korea remains largely unexploited in its extensive mining resources. Second, on the other hand, South Korea's economy has the advantage of being competitive. While pursuing their interests, they develop and develop their skills to win over each other. Lastly, we need to take advantage of these economic advantages and create a "joint enterprise".
North London Collegiate School
Comparing North Korea to Greece and Venezuela
North Korea has shown economic growth, but in a very slow phase. Greece was a country which earned massive profit through tourism. The government of Greece often implemented policies which included populism, in order to maintain their governmental system. However, after the subprime mortgage crisis which took place between 2007-8, implications due to this made people travel less to Greece as they were lacking money. This made Greece to be economically recessed, followed by the 2010 European dept crisis, triggering very slow or even negative economy growth. Venezuela was a country which was economically flourishing due to the inflations in oil price and their rich natural resource. Similarly, Venezuela spent a high proportion of their revenue in welfare payment rather than capital investment. After being affected by the subprime mortgage financial crisis, the oil price plunged, thus Venezuela’s economy also experienced rapid descent. Eventually, they are experiencing occasionally very slow or generally towards expeditious negative economic growth.
Korea International School
The future of the last divided country in the World
It is such a tragedy that once the same country with the same people, the same ambition, and the same history separated ever since 1945. One of the most impacted fields from the current divide of both countries is the democratization of the people. Should democratization happen in both countries, it will bring people rights they did not have before, including voting rights, labor rights, change in culture and others. One of the comparisons that could be made with the current situation is Germany. East Germany had a similar situation as North Korea not only politically but also economically before its reunification with West Germany. After its reunification, East Germany managed to bring its potential to the highest point, bringing its economy to its expected potential and giving rights to people, enabling them to become more blissful. As the last divided country in the World, the unification of South and North Korea seems crucial by every conceivable means. But there is one thing you must have for unification: desire. It is a personal belief that democratization of North Korea will bring out their personal thoughts into actions and desire more for unification and bring peace to both countries.
Daniel Ho, Kim
Asian Pacific International School
The Impact Democratization in North Korea on Individual Pleasure
In July 27th 1953, the two Koreas signed an armistice to sever any previously existing ties for the next 60 years. Since making truce, a series of conflicts concerning nuclear proliferation and violation of human rights in North Korea have significantly deteriorated inter-Korean relations. However, with the recent Panmunjom Declaration, the divided nations have taken the big first step towards reunification. For a comprehensive understanding of underlying post-war tensions, we must begin with the historical background in discrepancy of foreign policies. It is crucial that we prioritize gradual denuclearization, while maintaining positive relations with China and the US. Throughout history, denuclearization itself has never been a straightforward process. Currently, President Moon and President Kim have agreed to alleviate military tensions by eliminating any broadcasting loudspeakers or leaflets along the Demarcation line, and turn conflict-ridden areas in the West Sea into a maritime peace zone for fishing. From an international perspective, the implications of the Panmunjom Declaration extend to China and the US. It is imperative that quadrilateral summit meetings be arranged to resolve any national conflicts involving certain issues. If we successfully manage to ride the wind, we will arrive safely back ashore. However, it will not be an easy journey- thunderous waves will batter down the hull- but the key is to remain persistent.
Kyu Bin, Moon
St. Johnsbury Academy
Influence of the Democracy on North Korea
The Korean Workers Party, the largest political party in North Korea, holds political power. Democracy, which is the opposite concept of dictatorship, is a government system that is ruled by the citizens. This system is important and also a common government system such that more than half of governments in the world are democratic. The impact of democracy in North Korea will significantly appear in its economy. The change in labor will be influenced depending on the values of democracy. Democracy ideas not only influence labor, but it will strengthen the law of North Korea. Consequently, democracy will make effective laws since people’s opinions are reflected in the law, and everyone will become equal before the law. The democratization of North Korea will make individual lives satisfied and pleased. The democratic ideal of the pursuit of happiness which is an individual having fundamental rights and liberty will increase individual rights and pleasure. In addition, democracy ideas will improve the education of North Korea by learning ungarbled information.