My book on North Korean strategy concludes that North Korea’s government is stable because everyone who could influence it is motivated to maintain its stability and that those who would benefit from changing it have no influence.
I tried to look for holes in my theory. I thought of a few.
- South Korea continues to become increasingly prosperous. Combined with a more porous border, more information reaches North Korean people, undermining the party line.
- Cell phones allow greater communication among North Koreans, allowing some assembly. Signals from China and South Korea reach within North Korea.
- The internet is growing within the country from the inside.
- Tourism seems to be increasing, increasing communication and dependency on the outside world.
I don’t claim these are insightful or powerful, but they do threaten the system in ways that other deliberate attempts to change the system never did — including famine, sanctions, and aid.
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