FNF-IFES Int'l Conference: Urban North Korea: Changes and Exchanges


On June 19th the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and its long term partner, the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University (IFES), hosted its annual international conference. This time the conference topic was “Urban North Korea: Changes and Exchanges”. The conference began with remarks by IFES Director Prof. Lee Kwan-sei and FNF Head of Korea office, Dr. Christian Taaks. Furthermore, we had the honour to have Minister of Unification Kim Yeon-chul with us.


Panel Chair Prof. Kim Hyun-soo of Dankook University led the first session “North Korean Urbanism in the Kim Jong-un Era”. Yim Dongwoo looked at the different phases of urban development in North Korea, Joung Eunlee showed how economic developments shape real estate value and urban development and Théo Clement looked at the interesting case of Sinuiju and how Special Economic Zones can or cannot shape new urban developments.

Panel Chair Lee Sangjun, Vice President of the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements led the second session “Spaces of Engagement in Urban North Korea”. Calvin Chua showed how international exchange, entrepreneurship and the urban context can intersect. Hwang Doojin explored the value of Gaesong Industrial Complex as a city, Elisabeth Chabanol presented the research project City-NKOR and Simon Cockerell showed the connection between tourism, human interaction and the urban space.


More than 250 people attended the conference and not enough seats were available to accommodate all guests. We thank all the participants for joining us and we are looking forward to see you again at the next conference!