Recent changes in the political environment between North and South Korea were the impetus for a "Conference on North Korea Management Education” in September. Hosted by Yonsei School of Business and organized by its affiliated Yonsei Business Research Institute, the event was designed to help North Korean managers better understand market-based management in preparation for economic reform and an opening to the North and to explore ways for South Korean business schools to contribute in promoting the introduction of a locally optimized management system.
"We expect that the conference will actively promote an exchange of excellent views and insights on the education of North Korean executives," Management Professor Hyuck-Seung Yang and director of the Yonsei Business Research Institute, said in his speech.
Young-Ho Eom, dean of the Yonsei School of Business, welcomed all attendees. “The history of Yonsei Business School is a history of challenging and pioneering,“ he said. “It is a new challenge for us to create knowledge and educate management for the common prosperity of the people in order to build a peace system on the Korean Peninsula in light of recent events.” Yeon-Cheol Kim, director of the Korea Institute of National Unification, said, “There is a demand for education of management in North Korea because of the increased autonomy of management there. In this regard, we need to find a way to directly educate North Korea about its management, and I hope this conference will pay off today."
As the first speaker, Associate Professor Joo-Young Kwak of International Business discussed “Business Education in China's Reform and Opening Period.” Kwak explained that China, which actively implemented management education, is a good example for North Korea. But she emphasized South Korean participation in economic cooperation in North Korea and how it adjusts its interests in the course of this cooperation will be the key.
"Sharing knowledge is a powerful means for constructive North Korea planning. Through knowledge sharing, we can build trust in nonpolitical relations and build successful cooperation between the international community and North Korea," said Professor Kyung-Ae Park of the University of British Columbia in her session on “Soft power and Knowledge Sharing with North Korea.” Park has been a key actor since 2011 in leading the Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program (KPP). It is an academic exchange program that invites six North Korean professors to UBC every year and allows them to take classes in economics and management for six months.
Lastly, Professor Hong-Seok Oh of management addressed the topic of “North Korean Business Education and the Role of South Korean business schools.” "A one-sided transplant of American-style business administration to North Korea is impracticable, and it is important to understand the North's business organization and socialist traditions," he said, and emphasized, "It is important to study the education of the former socialist countries and then find a North Korean partner after choosing the educational targets in the North."
Professor Moon Choi of Yanbian University (China) discussed his interactions with professors from North Korea's Kim Il Sung University. Jea-Hwan Hong, a research fellow at the Korea Institute of National Unification, and Professor Khan-Pyo Lee of Sogang University addressed the scope of content and topics for sharing market economy knowledge with North Korea. In addition, the practical aspects of the scope of business education with North Korea were discussed by Yong-Ok Jun of Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers, who has studied North Korea's accounting system.