This ambitious book is constructed to provide the reader with unusually broad and deep insight into North Korea, illustrating how the Kim Jong-un regime calculates, balances, and addresses the various key policy challenges it faces. This will be accomplished through the extensive experience of the authors—Korean, European, and American—in North Korea and with North Koreans. There is no substitute for such direct experience in order to address the numerous myths and misconceptions that have grown up and persisted over the years about how the North functions, and how it perceives the world. Moreover, the usual focus on a single issue—for example, just nuclear or just economic matters—fails to provide a sense of how important the inter-relationship of these separate parts is in understanding the whole. The experience brought to bear in the book and the breadth of coverage provides badly needed, critical insights about North Korea at time when policy in Seoul and Washington toward the North is at a crucial hinge point.
Robert Carlin is consultant at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.
Chung-in Moon is chairman of the Sejong Institute in Seoul, Korea.
Introduction by Robert Carlin and Chung-in Moon
Chapter 1: To What Extent and How Do We Know About North Korea? Linking Contextual Intelligence to Sound Policy by Robert Carlin
Chapter 2: Can the Kim Jong-un Regime Survive? by Jong Seok Lee
Chapter 3: The North Korean Economy in Crisis: Prospects for Reform and Policy Options by Rüdiger Frank
Chapter 4: Kim Jong-un's Economic Reform and Opening: Opportunities, Constraints, and Prospects by Dongho Jo
Chapter 5: North Korean Society at a Crossroad: Change and Continuity in the Kim Jong-un era by Sung Kyung Kim
Chapter 6: North Korea’s Foreign Policy: A Revisionist State, An Alliance with China, or A Third Way? by Jung-Chul Lee
Chapter 7: The Status and Role of the North Korean Military During the Kim Jong-un Period by Gee-Dong Lee
Chapter 8: Nuclear North Korea: A Path Forward in View of Facts, Myths and Uncertainties by Siegfried S. Hecker
Chapter 9: International Sanctions on North Korea: Are They Working? by Thomas J. Biersteker and Zuzana Hudáková
Chapter 10: North Korea’s Food Security Strategy: Analytically Flawed, Inherently Fragile by Hazel Smith
Chapter 11: North Korea’s Health System in the Kim Jong-un Era by Kee B. Park and Edward I. Ham
Chapter 12: Understanding North Korea: Negotiation by Robert Carlin and Chung-in Moon
Panelists: William Perry, Robert Gallucci, Daniel Russel, Joseph DeTrani, Dong-won Lim, Jaejoung Lee, Haesung Chun
Chapter 13: Understanding North Korea: Engagement by Ruediger Frank
Panelists: James Glyn Ford, Eun-jeung Lee, Alexandre Mansourov, Kee B. Park, Geoffrey See, Nam Sun Song, Ki-jung Kim, Dongho Jo
Carlin and Moon are among the most perceptive observers of North Korea, in no small measure because they have actual histories with the country’s officials and are appropriately modest about what we can know. This volume gathers together an unusual cluster of leading experts, but does not confine itself to standard foreign policy analysis; it considers cultural change, the economy and ongoing humanitarian challenges, including those around COVID. Nonetheless, a particular bonus is a roundtable discussion among leading negotiators from both the US and South Korea. If you have an interest in North Korea, this book needs to be in your library.