North and South Korea, partitioned in 1945 and almost completely out of contact with each other since the end of the Korean War, offer the example of a single population under two radically different political and economic systems. For decades, it has been difficult to compare the results of their contrasting development strategies due to the lack of information about North Korea. New information, however, makes it possible to compare social and economic conditions in this divided nation. These comparisons also point to a number of policy issues that might arise in the event of a free and peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula.
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