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A double-edged sword : information technology in North Korea

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Title: A double-edged sword : information technology in North Korea
Authors: Bruce, Scott Thomas
LC Subject Headings: Information technology - Government policy - Korea (North)
Elite (Social sciences) - Korea (North)
Issue Date: Oct 2012
Publisher: Honolulu, HI : East-West Center
Series/Report no.: AsiaPacific issues ; no. 105
Abstract: With North Korea's tightly controlled and isolated population, the rise of information technology--specifically cell phones and an intranet--is an unprecedented development. In the last decade, a domestic intranet was launched and a cell phone network was created. Both of these form a closed, domestic system, which the regime hopes will allow for productivity gains from increased coordination and the sharing of state-approved information, while keeping out foreign influences. North Korea is now confronted with the challene of how to reap the economic benefits of an IT system, while avoiding the social instability that may accompany it. The country has made a fundamental shift from a state that limits access to information technology to ensure the security of the regime, to one that is willing to use it as a tool, at least among a certain privileged class, to support the development of the nation. Although North Korea is stable for now, over the next decade, information techology has the potential to tranform the state and it also creates a strong incentive to integrate North Korea into the dynamic economies of Northeast Asia.
Description: For more about the East-West Center, see
Pages/Duration: 8 p.
ISSN: 1522-0966
Appears in Collections:AsiaPacific Issues

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