This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Jamie Doucette and Seung-Ook Lee. They speak about the conceptual ideas behind the Kaesong Industrial Complex, its construction and operation, the way this has altered traditional notions of sovereignty and territoriality, the economic rationale behind Kaesong (from both South Korean and North Korean perspectives), the political motivations, the hopes for reunification, the unique set of risks involved, the two temporary closures of the zone, Kaesong’s permanent shutdown in 2016 under the Park Geun-hye government, the successes and criticisms of the complex, the prospect of it reopening under the current political environment, and its geographical understanding as a new form of experimental extra-territoriality.
Jamie Doucette is a Senior Lecturer of Human Geography at the University of Manchester, and Seung-Ook Lee is an Assistant Professor of East Asia/Geography at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, in Daejeon, South Korea. This podcast is based, in part, around the joint research of Jamie and Seung-Ook concerning the Kaesong Industrial Complex, particularly, their article ‘Experimental territoriality: Assembling the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea’ (https://www.academia.edu/12364243/Experimental_territoriality_Assembling_the_Kaesong_Industrial_Complex_in_North_Korea), as well as touching on ideas expressed in ‘Trump, turbulence, territory’ (https://www.academia.edu/38475791/Trump_turbulence_territory) and ‘Zoning global? North Korea’s Special Economic Zones’ (http://blog.policy.manchester.ac.uk/posts/2015/09/zoning-global-north-koreas-special-economic-zones/).
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