Translator’s Note – Understanding Kim Jong Un’s Economic Policymaking:  Defense Versus Civilian Spending 

Understanding Kim Jong Un’s Economic Policymaking:  Defense Versus Civilian Spending 

Translator’s Note 

  1. 38 North has translated all tables of contents of North Korea’s top economic journal, Kyo’ngje Yo’ngu (Kyongje Yongu), as well as select articles of Kyo’ngje Yo’ngu and another key North Korean economic journal, Kim Il Sung Chonghaptaehakhakpo (Journal of Kim Il Sung University), from 2007 to 2020 as part of its North Korean economy project.
  2. All translations are by Rachel Minyoung Lee. The translations are based on the vernacular texts published on the website of the Tokyo-based DPR Korea Media (KPM), at The translations and their corresponding vernacular full texts are published by 38 North with KPM’s approval.
  3. The translations use a modified version of the McCune-Reischauer romanization system. Diacritics are replaced with apostrophes. Some proper nouns follow internationally recognized spellings or North Korean transliterations instead. Examples include the three Kim leaders’ names, Pyongyang, and Juche.
  4. Square brackets denote editorial notes, used for providing additional information such as alternative spellings for searchability and abbreviations.
  5. “Socialist enterprise responsibility management system [SERMS]” is used for 사회주의기업책임관리제 (sahoejuu’igio’p ch’aegimgwallije), Kim Jong Un’s key reform policy of giving greater autonomy to individual economic units. Pyongyang’s official English translation of this term is “socialist system of responsible business operation.” Another common English translation of this term is “socialist corporate responsible management system.”
  6. The terms 강성대국 [kangso’ngdaeguk], 강성국가 [kangso’nggukka], and 강국 [kangguk] are all translated as “powerful state.” The transliteration and vernacular are provided for 강성대국 [kangso’ngdaeguk] and 강성국가 [kangso’nggukka] in editorial notes; where there is no such editorial note provided, “powerful state” should be understood as 강국 [kangguk]. 

 Translated Works Cited  

곽명철, “국방공업의 지위를 옳게 밝히는것은 사회주의경제건설에서 전략적의의를 가지는 중요한 문제,” [Kwak Myo’ng-ch’o’l, “Correctly Clarifying the Status of the National Defense Industry Is an Important Issue That Has Strategic Significance for the Construction of a Socialist Economy”] Kyo’ngje Yo’ngu 1, (January 2018). 

류운출, “선군시대 중공업건설의 기본방향,” [Ryu Un-ch’ul, “Basic Direction of Heavy Industry Construction in the Military-First Era”] Kyo’ngje Yo’ngu 4, (October 2008). 

리춘일, “선군시대 경제건설로선에서 국방공업의 위치와 역할,” [Ri Ch’un-il, “The Position and Role of National Defense Industry in the Economic Construction Line of the Military-First Era”] Kyo’ngje Yo’ngu 1, (January 2010). 

박순철, “현시기 인민경제 선행부문, 기초공업부문을 추켜세울데 대한 우리 경제정책의 정당성,” [Pak Sun-ch’o’l, “The Legitimacy of Our Party’s Economic Policy on Giving a Boost to the Leading Sectors and the Basic Industrial Sectors of the People’s Economy at the Present Time”] Kyo’ngje Yo’ngu 4, (October 2010). 

박혁, “축적과 소비의 균형의 법칙을 정확히 구현하는것은 사회주의재정의 중요한 임무,” [Pak Hyo’k, “Accurately Materializing the Law of Balance Between Accumulation and Consumption Is an Important Duty of Socialist Finance”] Kyo’ngje Yo’ngu 1, (January 2016). 

엄경철, “국방력강화는 국사중의 국사,” [O’m Kyo’ng-ch’o’l, “Strengthening National Defense Capabilities Is the State Affair of State Affairs”] Kim Il Sung Chonghaptaehakhakpo (Ch’o’rhak, Kyo’ngje) 3, (2015).