View Poll Results: What is the near-term future of the DPRK

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  • It will fall into chaos as a result of renewed famine and poverty, resulting in military crackdowns.

    3 15.79%
  • There will be a military coup that displaces the current leadership, hopefully soon.

    4 21.05%
  • It will continue to remain a closed society, technologically dormant and otherwise insignificant.

    12 63.16%
  • The leadership will eventually make a misstep, forcing military action from the United States.

    0 0%
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Thread: North Korea: 2012-2016

  1. #21
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    I think that Kim Jong-il will survive as leader of North Korea only as long as he's able to keep the military fed and happy...which is becoming more and more problematic it seems. When he's no longer able to do that, I suspect his time left in office will be very short. Militaries don't react well to leaders who don't give them their food or their paychecks, especially when the military are the only ones getting food in the country. Of course, Kim would probably choose to cede much of his power to the Chinese government in exchange for their help if it ever came to that point. I seriously doubt he's so detached from reality that he doesn't realize that a military coup would ultimately result in his execution.

  2. #22
    Council Member 979797's Avatar
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    Why hasn't anyone thought about colluding with the Chinese to overthrow Kim? China has to have more inroads in their military than we do... surely there must be SOMEBODY who can replace Kim that we can deal with as well.

    The Chinese stand to lose the most here from Kim's antics... and this isn't the first episode. The Chinese are communist, but they're also practical. I'm surprised they haven't "solved" the problem yet.

  3. #23
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    Kim serves as a useful distraction. Despite all the saber rattling, I suspect that he is no where near as dangerous as portrayed. He has a huge army that is very short of funds to train and make repairs. He has a population that spends most of the time on the line between hunger and starvation. His missile tests have failed, miserably and his nuke made such a poor showing that it tool several days to determine if indeed it even was a nuke. Even his most optimistic generals have to be aware that if they do attack the ROK army and subsequently the US military will punish them severely, not to mention how pissed China will be because they will have to deal with the floods of refugees. I'm not saying that he isn't dangerous but unless he is cornered I seriously doubt that he will follow through with any of his rhetoric. Even he can do the math on that one.

    By the way, is it still accurate to refer to China as Communist or would it be more apt to describe them as a burgeoning capitalist nation with a strong authoritarian government?

    SFC W

  4. #24
    Council Member pcmfr's Avatar
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    China likes the situation exactly as it is and would never support overthrowing KJI. The worse thing they fear (both politically and militarily) is a unified democratic Korean Pennisula, allied with the US.

  5. #25
    Council Member aktarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcmfr View Post
    China likes the situation exactly as it is and would never support overthrowing KJI. The worse thing they fear (both politically and militarily) is a unified democratic Korean Pennisula, allied with the US.
    As long as things remain as they are. But if Kim's antics would go in the direction of triggering a war with US or scaring Japan into heavily militarising (including nuclearisation) then I'm sure KJI's days will be numbered.

    Which is why I think there will be a coup as Chinese will want some stability there and not some unpredictable leader.

  6. #26
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default N. Korea Shutters Nuclear Facility

    15 July Washington Post - N. Korea Shutters Nuclear Facility by Edward Cody.

    After four years of off-and-on negotiations, North Korea said it began closing down its main nuclear reactor Saturday, shortly after receiving a first boatload of fuel oil aid.

    The closure, if confirmed by U.N. inspectors, would mark the first concrete step in a carefully orchestrated denuclearization schedule that was agreed on in February, with the ultimate goal of dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons program in exchange for fuel and other economic aid, and increased diplomatic recognition.

    More broadly, it constituted the first on-the-ground accomplishment of six-nation negotiations that have been grinding away with little progress since 2003 under Chinese sponsorship. The talks -- including North and South Korea, Russia, Japan, the United States and China -- are likely to resume next week in Beijing to emphasize the parties' resolve to carry out the rest of the February agreement and eventually create a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula...

  7. #27
    Council Member T. Jefferson's Avatar
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    Question

    This should increase China's influence in both regional and world affairs.
    Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

    It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to
    ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be
    neglected.

  8. #28
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    Default China Wheeling & Dealing With N. Korea

    Here's the latest:

    China halts rail freight to N Korea

    By Anna Fifield in Seoul and Richard McGregor in Beijing

    Published: October 18 2007 23:06 | Last updated: October 18 2007 23:06

    China suspended key rail freight services into North Korea last week after 1,800 wagons carrying food aid and tradeable goods crossed into Kim Jong-il’s hermit state but were never returned.

    Absconding with Chinese wagons would be a strange move for North Korea because Beijing is Pyongyang’s closest political ally and biggest provider of food, goods and oil. Analysts monitoring North Korea said Chinese officials had privately complained to them that the North Koreans were dismantling Chinese wagons and selling them back as scrap metal.

    The Chinese railway ministry suspended a number of rail freight services into North Korea on October 11, humanitarian agencies operating in North Korea told the Financial Times. The ministry told international aid agencies that it would not send any more wagons into North Korea until Pyongyang returned the 1,800 Chinese wagons.
    Full Article

    You almost end up feeling sorry for the Chinese officials who have the point on these aid shipments to the DPRK. Imagine how it's going to play out when they call their superiors in Beijing up & tell them that not only did the aid get through, but now the Chinese are going to have to buy back all the transport gear as "scrap metal". Ouch!

    As I understand it, this isn't the first time this has happened. I read somewhere that quite a bit of rail rolling stock also used for these aid shipments went into the DPRK from China, but all the PRC got back was the train crews - no rolling stock. The NORKs treated the railroad rolling stock as just another part of the overall aid package. Probably didn't even say "thank you".

    If it wasn't so deadly serious, it would be great material for Comedy Central.

  9. #29
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    Default Keeping an Eye on an Unruly Neighbor

    CSIS/USIP, 3 Jan 08: Chinese Views of Economic Reform and Stability in North Korea
    This report is based on discussions with Chinese specialists on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) during a CSIS-USIP delegation visit to Beijing, Changchun, and Yanji, June 25-30, 2007. Topics discussed included trends in North Korea’s economy and prospects for reform; current trends in Sino-DPRK economic relations; China’s policy toward North Korea in the wake of the nuclear test; Chinese debates on North Korea; Chinese assessments of North Korea’s political stability; and potential Chinese responses to instability.
    Complete 28 page report at the link.

  10. #30
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    New from CFR: Crisis Guide: The Korean Peninsula

    An interactive, multimedia guide to the dispute between North and South Korea.

  11. #31
    Council Member franksforum's Avatar
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    Default Political Change in North Korea

    From the Parliamentary Library of Australia dated 23 January 2008:

    Political Change in North Korea

    Executive summary:

    The prospect of political change in North Korea is a recurring question, buoyed by media speculation regarding the health of the current leader, Kim Jong-Il, the dearth of information about his succession and concern for the potential instability that could occur.

    Australian interest stems from the possibility that political change in North Korea could potentially affect the economic viability of the region, which contains Australia’s three largest export markets of China, South Korea and Japan. Political change in North Korea could potentially require Australian assistance in humanitarian and/or military operations.

    There are four scenarios for political change in North Korea. These are: hereditary or other familial succession, a smooth transferral of power to another centre of power, such as the military, forced political change through coup or revolution, and the disintegration of the state and its ultimate absorption by South Korea. Each scenario has specific warning signs that are yet to appear.

    The key determinants of political change in North Korea are likely to be the military, external powers and the economy. Each of these determinants plays a central role in the political viability of the current North Korean leadership. There are several triggers of political change in North Korea, one of which is the deterioration in the health of current leader, Kim Jong-Il.

    Given the potential economic and security impact, the issue of political change in North Korea is something that Australia and the region should be prepared to address.

    Here is the PDF link:

    http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/r...-08/08rp19.pdf

  12. #32
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    Presentation from a CNS Event, 12 Mar 08:

    Paranoid Potbellied Stalinist Gets Nuclear Weapons: How the U.S. Print Media Covers North Korea
    A Backward Country Led by a Paranoid Pygmy

    • “The Weird and Scary Saga of how an Isolated, Bankrupt Nation Went Nuclear,” (Newsweek cover story title, 10/23/06)

    • “North Korea is a hermit state ruled by a potbellied, fivefoot-three paranoid Stalinist who likes to watch Daffy Duck cartoons.” (Bill Keller in NY Times, 1/11/03)

    • “…led by world-class paranoids and fantasists capable of believing their own propaganda… Such a regime may be beyond reasoning or, even worse, deterring in a conventional sense.” (Jim Hoagland in Washington Post, 10/12/06)
    The presenter published an article with the same title in the Mar 08 Nonproliferation Review.
    Mainstream American print media coverage of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has been deeply flawed, a reality that skews policy debates and confuses public perceptions. Even simple factual descriptions of the parties’ obligations under the 1994 Agreed Framework have often been inconsistent and partial, informing readers about North Korea’s obligations more than U.S. obligations, and rarely acknowledging U.S. failures. The media repeated allegations about an illicit North Korean uranium enrichment program based largely on anonymous sources, who made what seem now to have been misleading statements. Journalists rely for comment on administration officials or members of Washington think tanks, while making little effort to gather opinions from academics, those on the left (as opposed to centrist liberals), or experts in Southeast Asia. Journalists also frequently present Kim Jong Il in ways that erase the Korean perspective on U.S.-Korean relations. Accurate, nuanced coverage of events on the Korean Peninsula is vital in producing an informed public and a policy-making process that is judicious, supple, and intelligent. This article concludes with various ways in which the media could better report on North Korea.....

  13. #33
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Somebody get TEAM AMERICA! on the phone

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle3822538.ece

    Kim Jong-il builds ‘Thunderbirds’ runway for war in North Korea

    An airbase inside a mountain is the latest sign that North Korea, whose links to Syria’s nuclear programme came to light last week, is cranking up its military machine.

    North Korean military engineers are completing an underground runway beneath a mountain that can protect fighter aircraft from attack until they take off at high speed through the mouth of a tunnel.

    The 6,000ft runway is a few minutes’ flying time from the tense front line where the Korean People’s Army faces soldiers from the United States and South Korea.


    Art imitates life. Life imitates art.

  14. #34
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Who woke up the Times? NK has been building those

    for years. I'm curious. Wonder how they know its 6,000 feet long if it's underground...

  15. #35
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Post How Thoughtful

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamG View Post
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle3822538.ece

    Kim Jong-il builds ‘Thunderbirds’ runway for war in North Korea

    An airbase inside a mountain is the latest sign that North Korea, whose links to Syria’s nuclear programme came to light last week, is cranking up its military machine.

    North Korean military engineers are completing an underground runway beneath a mountain that can protect fighter aircraft from attack until they take off at high speed through the mouth of a tunnel.

    The 6,000ft runway is a few minutes’ flying time from the tense front line where the Korean People’s Army faces soldiers from the United States and South Korea.


    Art imitates life. Life imitates art.
    of them to provide such a nice landing spot once whoever were to get finished cleaning off the military bases of all the rotting hulks setting on them
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  16. #36
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    Inside the Hermit Kingdom:

    North Koreans May Be Turning Against the Regime and Beijing



    "Now when the authorities blame America for the lack of food, people ask in turn, 'Is it the responsibility of America and South Korea to feed us? … why won't China help us, since it's our closest ally?'



    -- A North Korean interviewed by the Daily North Korea

  17. #37
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    Default North Korea resistance

    Actually from some of my South korean collegues, it seems that many North Koreans know their gov. has been lying to them for the longest time, they know what the outside world looks like.

    This is due to the fact, the Chinese goods in the form of cheap cellphones, South Korean VCDs, etc. are being smuggled in huge quantities into North Korea. The North Korean border with China while heavilly regulated is rife with corruption.

    While the North Koreans know that their gov. is a bitch, they can't do anything about the gov. The military is hardline and any dissent is brutally crushed. So the only solution is to run away to China or Korea in large numbers to escape their situation.

    I think that all of North korea's neighbors would like to change the way North Korea is run. I think China is particular wants North Korea to go her way(economic reform while keeping a authoritarian gov.) but North Koreas leaders probably know that when Norht Korea opens up to the world that China did, there's a big chance they will lose their positions(and most likely their heads).

    Though I also think that North Korea's regime will not last that long. I think the slow distentigration of its society which is happening right now will take its toll. the new generation of North Koreans growing up with bootleg South korean drama VCDs and bootleg Chinese Cellphones will probably be the ones to reform the country....see you in 20-30 years.

  18. #38
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    Default China-Taiwan

    As for China being a threat to Taiwan.

    I highly doubt it there will be war with Taiwan.

    China and Taiwan are very closely linked economically. Most of the Taiwanese factories are situation in Fujian province, China. Taiwan is one of the largest investors in the Chinese economy. Also the pro independence party have been booted out of office in the recent election(due to rampant corruption and poor economic performance) and the KMT(Kuomintang) party is back in the drivers seat which by the way(ironically) acceptable to the Chinese gov. There is even talks now(that the Ind. party is gone) of directs flights from Taiwan to China.

  19. #39
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    Default North Korean succession

    Folks may be interested in this summary of the NK succession reportage:

    http://bellum.stanfordreview.org/?p=316

    Would appreciate comments from the more informed, in particular about whether I'm right or wrong about the big story being the succession, not the missile test, saber-rattling, etc.

  20. #40
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Post Haven't looked that close for a while

    Quote Originally Posted by TristanAbbey View Post
    Folks may be interested in this summary of the NK succession reportage:

    http://bellum.stanfordreview.org/?p=316

    Would appreciate comments from the more informed, in particular about whether I'm right or wrong about the big story being the succession, not the missile test, saber-rattling, etc.
    But if the kids competent at all there are probably quite a few in the hierarchy that might not mind the change at all.

    Good indicator of this would be to look at why O originally "fell from grace" in the first place
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

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