Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Political Science

Document Type



North Korea gained the moniker “Hermit Kingdom” as the country largely withdrew from interactions with the West during the Cold War. However, NGOs have quietly worked within the country since a famine in the mid-1990s pressured the North Korean government to request international aid. How did these NGOs begin operations in North Korea? How are the rules and regulations governing these NGOs decided? This research attempts to answer these questions through interviews with individuals who have worked or are currently working in North Korea, as well as, through related literature, both academic and non-academic. The findings are as follows: the rules that apply to each organization contain general trends, but are determined on a one-by-one basis with several key factors heavily influencing what regulations apply. Case studies are included to illustrate this point as well as a discussion of the influence NGOs have on North Korean policies.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Timothy Rich


International and Area Studies