Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation: The Need for Reciprocity. Does Lopsided Cooperation Soothe the North’s Bluffing Mentality?
The term, economic cooperation, has very multifaceted implications. It may be generally meant to connote the “two-ways balanced transactions based on comparative advantages, cooperative economic projects, and mutual economic aids and supports,” and so forth. In the case of bilateral relations between North Korea and South Korea, economic cooperation has been used largely to encompass “human exchange” (meetings of separated families, mutual visits, and Mt. Keumkang tourism, and feasibility surveys for Gaesung special zone, and so forth), the South’s provision of various material supplies to meet the demands of the North, and both pecuniary and non-pecuniary aids and investments into North Korea. Most of the time, the main flow of such inter-Korean cooperation has so far run from the South to the North, not the other direction.