In 2021, the Soongsil Institute for Peace and Unification was selected to be supported by the Humanities & Social Sciences Institute of the National Research Foundation of Korea, and subsequently established the DPRK Cities Research Group. The project carried out by this Research Group is entitled “A Study on Market-led Changes in the DPRK's Cities and the Lives of its Citizens”. The research goals and research activities are as follows.
A comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the market-led urban change and the lives of city dwellers in the DPRK
- Exploration of politics, governance, economy, space, society, culture, education, women and human rights in DPRK cities
Expansion of research methods on DPRK cities
- Application of various urban theories and use of GIS, survey, and qualitative research methods
Proposal of a plan to realign the roles of the market and the government to build a sustainable DPRK city
- Proposals for the roles of the market and government in future DPRK cities, the roles of the South and North Korean governments, and institutional reform, through comparison with post-socialist cities in Eastern Europe, Asia and Russia.