Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas

by Marcus Noland
June 2000
Book Description

On the Korean peninsula one of the greatest success stories of the postwar era confronts a famine-ridden—and possibly nuclear-armed—totalitarian state. The stakes are extraordinarily high for both North and South Korea and for countries such as the United States that have a direct stake in these affairs. This study, the most comprehensive volume to date on the subject, examines the current situation in the two Koreas in terms of three major crises: the nuclear confrontation between the United States and North Korea, the North Korean famine, and the South Korean financial crisis. The future of the peninsula is then explored under three alternative scenarios: successful reform in North Korea, collapse and absorption (as happened in Germany), and "muddling through" in which North Korea, supported by foreign powers, makes ad hoc, regime-preserving reforms that fall short of fundamental transformation.


There was missing data in table 3.14 of this publication. We apologize for any inconvenience. To download the errata sheet in PDF format, please click on the following link: ERRATA



1. Introduction 146.8KB

2. The South Korean Economy Until 1997 397.3KB

3. The North Korean Economy 546.6KB

4. The Nuclear Confrontation 225.0KB

5. The Slow-Motion Famine in the North 254.7KB

6. The Financial Crisis in the South 418.9KB

7. The Prospect of Successful Reform in the North 296.9KB

8. The Implications of North Korean Collapse 289.4KB

9. Can the North Muddle Through? 194.5KB

10. Conclusions 221.4KB

Appendix 104.7KB



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Book Data

June 2000
ISBN paper 978-0-88132-278-1
456 pp.

Commentaries on This Book

"Avoiding the Apocalypse is unique in its breadth and rigor and essential reading for anyone interested in the future of Korea."

Joseph E. Stiglitz
Former Senior Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist of the World Bank

"Marcus Noland has managed to integrate the political and economic stories of both North and South Korea in one most useful volume.... Noland's account offers especially timely insights and guidance."

Robert B. Zoellick

"... [This] encyclopedic coverage of the two Korean economies... will be widely read and cited."

Il SaKong
Chairman and CEO of the Institute for Global Economics and former Minister of Finance of the Republic of South Korea

"[The book is] the best I've seen on the subject."

Don Gregg
The Korea Society
and former US Ambassador to the Republic of South Korea

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