North Korea after Kim Il Sung

North Korea after Kim Il Sung

Continuity or Change?

Editors: Thomas H. Henriksen, Jongryn Mo
ISBN: 978-0-8179-9462-4
Publication Date: 2/5/1997
Pages: 179

A distinguished group of international scholars convened at the Hoover Institution in February 1996 to debate the state of change or continuity in North Korea's post-Kim Il Sung regime. With North Korea seemingly locked into orthodox socialism, conflict with South Korea, and nuclear posturing, the current leadership appears bent on preserving the cold war status quo. This conference was able to shed light on one of the world's most closed societies and on its potential to adapt to post-cold war realities.

Despite the leadership transition from the charismatic Kim Il Sung to his son, Kim Jong Il, North Korea's persistent totalitarianism and isolationist policies have rendered it largely immune from the economic reforms being carried out in Russia, Eastern Europe, and China. The country is now on the verge of famine.

Experts have agreed that economic reform is necessary to avoid potential collapse. However, the necessary economic and political concessions for such reform are likely to threaten not only the regime's existence but also the stability of the entire region. North Korea after Kim Il Sung: Continuity or Change? examines this conundrum, North Korea's responses to date, its alternative s for the future, and Washington's options for dealing with the consequences.

Thomas H. Henriksen and Jongryn Mo organized the conference. The assembled experts discussed North Korean politics, economic issues, trade, military affairs, and inter-Korean relations. Although projections ranged from prosperity to collapse, there was consensus that the seeds of change have been sown. North Korea after Kim Il Sung: Continuity or Change? presents cooperative strategies that offer the best hope for a peaceful and stable Korean peninsula.

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Jongryn Mo

Jongryn Mo was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a professor of international political economy at the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University. Before taking that position at Yonsei, he was an assistant professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. Mo holds a BA in economics from Cornell University, an MS in social sciences from the California Institute of Technology, and a PhD in business from Stanford University.

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Thomas H. Henriksen

TThomas H. Henriksen is an emeritus senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he focuses on American foreign policy, international political affairs, and insurgencies. He specializes in the study of US diplomatic and military courses of action toward terrorist havens in the non-Western world and toward rogue regimes.

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