North Korea is now under the pressure of international sanctions due to its nuclear tests, firing
of long-range ballistic missiles, the sinking of the ROK naval frigate the Cheonan, and the artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island that killed four people. To overcome the burden of sanctions North Korea has exerted various efforts to reconstruct its industries. However, it is very unlikely that these reconstruction efforts would produce significant results due to the structural problems of the antiquated infrastructure of North Korean industries.
In the future, it is expected that South Korea will have to cooperate with North Korea for the reconstruction of the North Korean economy after the North Korean nuclear issue will be peacefully resolved. South Korean government has to prepare for the reconstruction with careful planning based on analysis of North Korean industries. But, the number of previous studies that have analyzed the technological level of North Korean industries are quite limited.
In preparation for the future inter-Korean industrial cooperation, this study tries to analyze
the technological level of North Korean industries. The steel industry has been selected as the focus for the main analysis of this study due to the importance of the steel industry as one of key infrastructure industries. Additionally, this study tests the sustainability of the North Korean steel industry by looking into the possibility of whether the North Korean steel industry can sustain or grow while maintaining global competitiveness in the future when the market opens to the world. Such analysis is expected to contribute to the joint prosperity of two Koreas in the short term and the reduction of unification costs in long term.