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Demystifying the Survival of North Korea

Sanghan Yea

Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 2017, vol. 4, issue 1, 50-68

Abstract: North Korea still exists. The majority of researchers today tend to attribute the nation’s surprising resilience to the total social control the regime exerts. There are telltale signs, however, that the information cordon that once surrounded the country is deteriorating and that the outside world is filtering in through such means as cell phones. It is therefore reasonable to assume that North Koreans already have accumulated enough information to judge how miserable and hopeless their lot is. A true mystery of North Korea thus becomes the question of why the regime has survived, when so many North Koreans hate it. There is some parallelism between the present-day North Korea and the final days of Germany under the Third Reich. At that time, although Germans knew how despicable the Hitler regime was and how that regime was bound to end, they nonetheless supported Hitler and fought to the end. This has been ascribed to their fear of the Soviet Red Army. In this vein, we could assume that North Koreans see no alternative to the current regime and instead opt to be inert because they believe they face an overwhelming threat to their existence, as the Germans did 70 years ago.

Keywords: North Korea; South Korea; Third Reich; fear for survival; Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea; unification in essence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1177/2347797016689208

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