North Korean strategy: starting points for successful change

November 28, 2011 by Joshua
in Freedom, Leadership, NorthKorea

I’ve described a system where when all actors act in their interests, everybody loses, except perhaps a few dozen decision-makers in North Korea. I’ve described what I think won’t substantively change the situation in North Korea. Yesterday I wrote about what wouldn’t change things.

One of the greatest lessons I learned in business school applies here, as well as to all so-called moral problems:

If the system leads to only undesired outcomes, change the system.

Changing a system rarely happens by changing one part of it unless the system depends on that part. To understand systems, I know of no better resource than Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows, which I recommend reading. For thoughts on how to change systems, I recommend her essay Twelve Leverage Points (pdf).

The points I see leverage are

I don’t put military options on the list because the missiles North Korea points toward South Korea could reach tens of millions of people and major economic areas within minutes. As I wrote before, North Korea effectively holds South Korea and Japan hostage.

I’ll try to add to the list. If you have ideas, please share. In the meantime, I’ll post on the above points of leverage.


EDIT: I included much of this post and this series on strategy (edited and polished) in my ebook, Understanding North Korea: Demystifying the World’s Most Misunderstood Country. I wrote the book to help increase understanding, communication, and freedom.

Joshua Spodek Understanding North Korea cover

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3 responses on “North Korean strategy: starting points for successful change

  1. Pingback: North Korean strategy: China | Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: North Korea strategy: preview | Joshua Spodek

  3. Pingback: North Korean Strategy: what won’t change things | Joshua Spodek

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