The End of North Korea

Gabriel Mizrahi over at The North Korea Blog has the following thoughts on The End of North Korea:

You have to hand one thing to North Korea: It knows how to keep us guessing.

Predictions about the end of North Korea keep coming (The Atlantic recently published a terrific article about the long history of wrongly predicting the DPRK’s demise), but the truth about the regime seems to elude most analysts. Still, that won’t stop the best of them from trying to pin down the end of North Korea.

Consider, for instance, Mark P. Barry’s recent post on World Policy Blog:

It’s possible that a process may have recently begun whereby North Korea could eventually shift from totalitarianism (or total control of public and private life) to authoritarianism (with minimal pluralism and autonomy in private life), drawing from the recent experiences of China.

Because when in doubt — and how could Mr. Barry not be, seeing as he’s talking about the world’s most secretive regime — use vague terms. “It’s possible.” “A process.” “May have recently begun.” “Could eventually.” I would love to see someone explain to Kim the difference between totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Better yet, I’d love to see someone explain the difference to a North Korean citizen. I doubt that the distinction, such as it is, is compatible with Red Confucianism…..continue reading this post at The North Korea Blog.

Kim Jong-un Pyongyang Subway

Kim Jong-un in the news at a Pyongyang Metro station – photo by Joseph A Ferris III

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