The Kaesong Closure: Punishment or Shot in the Foot?

38 North, 2016

4 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2016

Date Written: February 12, 2016


On Feb. 07, 2016, the joint industrial zone at Kaesong experienced another crisis, if not the beginning of its end. I have been there a couple of times and always left deeply impressed, and wondering. I think the key question is why both sides have kept the zone open for so long. I have difficulties believing the "greed" argument for the NK side, since the amount in question was small and they have previously shown that ideology and politics always trump economic rationality. I also don't buy the "we ran out of patience" point of the South, considering the many occasions they have had before to pull the plug.

Keywords: Korean Studies, South Korea, Korea (North and/or South), North Korea (politics and society), North Korea

Suggested Citation

Frank, Ruediger, The Kaesong Closure: Punishment or Shot in the Foot? (February 12, 2016). 38 North, 2016, Available at SSRN:

Ruediger Frank (Contact Author)

University of Vienna ( email )

Spitalgasse 2, 2.3
Vienna, Vienna 1090

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