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Keywords:

  • deliberative democracy;
  • human rights;
  • North Korea;
  • South Korea;
  • transborder collaboration;
  • transparency

This article proposes the creation of a deliberative forum that would establish and uphold standards related to human rights and transparency at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the only remaining joint economic initiative still in operation between South Korea and North Korea. By providing an analysis of ongoing developments and drawing upon recent scholarship on deliberative democracy, I argue that for Kaesong to reach its full potential and gain international credibility, its governance must be strengthened. The most promising way to achieve this aim, despite the seemingly long odds, is to launch a permanent forum in which representatives of all constituencies at Kaesong shape policy together through a sustained and inclusive process of public reasoning.