Article

Future of North Korea at Dead End

Asia Pacific Review 11/2009; 16:75-88. DOI: 10.1080/13439000903371676

ABSTRACT Since Chairman Kim Jong-il's reported stroke in August 2008, the stability or instability of the North Korean system has come under the spotlight. North Korea's one-man ruling communist and state-planned economic system will constantly come under pressure at home and abroad for change. For now, North Korea withstands the pressure for change with a strong state mechanism. If Pyongyang continues to allow its systemic rigidity to hinder opportunities for adjustment and change, then the deepening internal contradictions, the people's growing discontent, and increasing discord with the external environment may push the North Korean system to a critical breaking point. As the uncertainties shrouding the North Korean regime and system steadily increase, it has become urgent to accurately analyze and assess the present and the future of North Korea. While preparing for an uncertain future of North Korea, it is also necessary that the members of the Six-Party Talks exercise more efforts to generate genuine and positive changes in North Korea.

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