North Korea under Kim Chong-Il: Power, Politics, and Prospects for Change

North Korea under Kim Chong-Il: Power, Politics, and Prospects for Change

North Korea under Kim Chong-Il: Power, Politics, and Prospects for Change

North Korea under Kim Chong-Il: Power, Politics, and Prospects for Change

Synopsis

"North Korea under Kim Chong-il: Power, Politics, and Prospects for Change" delves deeply into what we know--and what we think we know--about the current North Korean system. This incisive book probes the dynamics that inform the nation's domestic and foreign policies, examining key leadership institutions and personalities, as well as prospects for the next regime.

In outlining the major events behind Kim Chong-il's assumption of power, Ken E. Gause illuminates the environment that shaped Chong-il's worldview and his concept of the regime and his role in it. The book focuses on regime politics since 1994. Among other critical topics, the book examines the evolution of North Korean decision-making with regard to its internal and external affairs and how both are intermingled. The prospects for a third hereditary succession and the prospective stability of the next regime are also considered.

Excerpt

Everybody is trying to sort of read the tea leaves [on North Korea] as to
what is happening and what is likely to occur, and there is a lot of guessing
going on…. But there is also an increasing amount of pressure because if
there is a succession, even if it’s a peaceful succession, that creates more un
certainty and it may also encourage behaviors that are even more provoc
ative as a way to consolidate power within the society.

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State,
in Seoul, February 19, 2009

I think we’ve said many times that the leadership and how decisions are
made in North Korea is an opaque process…. Who’s actually taking de
cisions is very opaque as well. We don’t have any direct contact on the
ground and are not able to well judge what we hear coming out of North
Korea.

Gordon Duguid, State Department
Spokesman, February 19, 2009

One of the most vexing foreign policy problems facing the international community today is the case of North Korea. Since the late 1980s, successive leaders of the five Northeast Asian powers have confronted the challenge to little effect. Despite a variety of foreign policy strategies ranging from threats of military force to engagement to benign neglect to engagement within the context of the Six Party Talks, neither the United States, nor South Korea, nor China has succeeded in removing the . . .

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