10:30am: Opening Remarks by Carl Gershman
10:45am: Panel discussion
In Ho Park, North Korean research head at Daily NK
Grayson Walker, Communications and International Team lead at Daily NK
Curtis Melvin, US-Korea Institute at John Hopkins SAIS
Moderated by Lynn Lee, Associate Director for Asia, NED
Since the mid-1990s, when an estimated one million people died from starvation or hunger-related illnesses during the famine that plagued North Korea, jangmadang (private markets) have emerged as a critical means of survival for average North Koreans. Having replaced the public distribution system as the primary means for food distribution, they have survived all attempts by the regime to limit or control them. The private markets remain the only independent space in North Korea within which its citizens can operate outside the control of the regime. Recognizing the potential of these markets to serve as more than simple barter-style, grassroots markets, online news source Daily NK, in partnership with its networks in the Asia region, carried out a research project from 2013 to 2016 to provide the international community detailed and contextual information on the marketization phenomenon and to explore the potential of private markets to plant the seeds of positive change in North Korea.