The Basic Law of the Sinuiju Special Administrative Region: A Happy Medium Between the DPRK Constitution and Hong Kong Basic Law?

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Goedde, Patricia

Issue Date
BK 21 law
Journal of Korean Law, Vol.3 No.2, pp. 77-137
This paper constitutes (1) a full-text English translation of the Basic Law of the Sinuiju Special Administrative Region of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) and (2)comparative analyses of the Sinuiju Basic Law with the DPRK Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. To supplement thetranslation, the paper makes respective contextual and textual comparisons between the Sinuiju SAR and its Basic Law with (a) North Korea and its 1992 Constitution, and (b) Hong Kong and its Basic Law. The first section explores the North Korean rationale for establishing the Sinuiju SAR. It examines North Koreas autarkic ideology of chuche, past legal attempts to lure foreign investment, and the differences between the Sinuiju SAR and other North Korean and Chinese special economic zones. It then compares the Sinuiju Basic Law with the DPRK Constitution, analyzing why certain provisions were kept or rejected. The second section discusses how the legal status of both Hong Kong and the Sinuiju SAR are different, especially on issues such as constitutional significance, regional autonomy and rule of law, before delving into a comparison of their Basic Laws. By analyzing which provisions were retained or excluded from the DPRK Constitution and the Hong Kong Basic Law, the author concludes that although the Sinuiju Basic Law may be a satisfactory compromise on paper between national policy and an idealized money-making venue, in reality the Sinuiju Basic Law is an ambiguous policy charter saturated with devices of state control, signaling that the future Sinuiju SAR will be yet another unsuccessful North Korean attempt to induce foreign investment.
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College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원)The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) Journal of Korean Law (JKL)Journal of Korean Law Volume 03 Number 1/2 (2003)
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