[How will North Korea change after Kim Jong Il’s death and the rise of his son Kim Jong Un? Will changes become visible to the casual observer traveling to Pyongyang during celebration of the 100th anniversary of DPRK founder Kim Il Sung this coming April? The British organizers of Political Tours will take a group of not-so-casual tourists to see for themselves. They will be accompanied by CanKor Brain Trust member and economist Rudiger Frank in what is sure to be a fascinating educational experience. Although exact details are still being worked out, CanKor encourages its readers to consider joining this unique opportunity at an especially critical period of North Korean history. To do so, please get in touch with us, or register through the Political Tours website. Make sure you let them know you heard about it from us. –CanKor]
Political Tours – North Korea Tour – April 2012
In the wake of Kim Jung Il’s death, and questions hanging over the country’s future direction, Political Tours is organizing a tour to North Korea this April. The visit is being led Professor Rudiger Frank, head of Korean studies at the University of Vienna, and one of the world’s leading experts on North Korea.
It also coincides with the 100th anniversary celebrations of the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung, an event that will have added importance following the death of his son at the end of December.
Pre -Tour Briefings
Our tour starts in Beijing with briefings on where the death of Kim Jung Il leaves the Democratic People’s Republic and how his son Kim Jong Un is placed to assume power. Experts will offer up-to-date analysis on North-South relations at this critical time, give briefings on the region’s economy, and outline possible scenarios for the future.
Speakers and organisations include:
- The International Crisis Group,
- The World Food Programme,
- China’s take on North Korean relations,
- Talks with several Beijing-based foreign correspondents,
- A briefing on the DPRK’s economy by Professor Frank.
The tour in North Korea itself is designed to give participants as realistic an understanding as possible of life inside the world’s most isolated country and will include the following highlights.
We visit Nampo, an important city on the west coast. We gain rare access to factories (a steelworks, a machine tooling plant, and glass factory), a university, a farm, and schools.
In Pyongyang we look at the structure of the state and government today, with briefings from official Korean guides on recent history, and key events surrounding the 100th anniversary celebration of Kim Il Sung’s Birth.
The full itinerary will be published online at http://www.politicaltours.com/tours/dprk.
Rudiger Frank is currently tenured Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna, and Deputy Head of the Department of East Asian Studies.
He is regularly consulted by governments, media and businesses on North Korea and East Asia. Most recently, this included consultancy work for The Elders in preparation for the visit by President Martti Ahtisaari, Prime Minister Gro Brundtland, President Jimmy Carter and President Mary Robinson to the Korean Peninsula and China.
He holds an M.A. in Korean Studies, Economics and International Relations and a Ph.D. in Economics. In 1991/1992, he spent one semester as a language student at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang and has been researching North Korea ever since. Visiting Professorships included Columbia University New York and Korea University Seoul. In June 2011, he joined the World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council on Korea.
Tour Dates: 7- 17th April
Our tour is currently set for the 7-17th April. However due to the large numbers of government delegations entering the DPRK at this time, the DPRK authorities may require that tour companies delay their visits until the following week. We have provisionally reserved places for the 21 April to 1 May if that should happen. We will be able to confirm these dates at the end of January.
Price £2500.00 (Can$3900.00). The prices do not include the cost of flights to Beijing or Pyongyang. It does however include the cost of the return train to Beijing from Pyongyang.
- 38 North: The Party as the Kingmaker: The Death of Kim Jong Il and its Consequences for North Korea by Rudiger Frank (CanKor.ca)
- 38 North: The Syrian Litmus Test by Rudiger Frank (CanKor.ca)