North Korea: A Strange Socialist Fortress

By Hy-Sang Lee | Go to book overview

Preface

This book aims to explain why North Korea is so poor yet so menacing. Both the systemic socialist poverty and the mean behavior of North Korea are widely known: it consistently takes large amounts of free food from countries of goodwill, but threatens their security by fabricating intercontinental missiles while concealing its nuclear weapons program. What is not well known in the concerned countries, however, are the intentions of Pyongyang behind its refusal to change the Communist institutions to alleviate the poverty and to forego the expenses of pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

The menace of North Korea is so unsettling that the United States has reopened the difficult issue of anti-missile defense and launched a new two-path policy toward Pyongyang. Developed under the leadership of a special presidential appointee, the former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, the new policy envisions a first path in which all issues of mutual concern would be settled comprehensively. If Pyongyang refuses to go along, a second path of firmly containing its belligerent acts would be activated. The reason given for formulating the policy on two separate paths laid in opposite directions was that the Perry review team was unable to divine the intentions behind North Korea’s refusenikbelligerent behavior. Not knowing whether Pyongyang intends to agree or aggress, Washington is pushing for agreement while keeping the powder dry for contingent action. This book is designed to uncover those intentions so that the basis for a third policy may be established.

The studies done for the book involved historical analyses of how North Korea acted under what intentions in the past. Despite the paucity of data emanating from North Korea, the very uniqueness of this secre

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