Modernizing the North Korean System

Modernizing the North Korean System: Objectives, Method, and Application

Charles Wolf
Norman D. Levin
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 124
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Modernizing the North Korean System
    Book Description:

    Six institutions in five countries that have key interests in North Korea's future undertook a collaborative effort to determine ways in which the North Korean system could move toward modernization. The effort produced illustrative plans, a consensus plan, and a tool kit for constructing alternative plans for stimulating the modernization of the North Korean system.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4596-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xx)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Background and Foreground
    (pp. 1-16)

    North Korea is conspicuous if not unique among the 193 other members of the United Nations (UN) in the paucity of reliable information about its internal conditions and processes. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has never published a statistical yearbook and has not published even fragmentary economic statistics since the early 1960s. Limited and unreliable information and data about North Korea result in obscurity and conjecture rather than knowledge about the country’s precise political, economic, and military circumstances. Partly for this reason, and because of the serious risks and threats posed by the DPRK through its nuclear and...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Methodology
    (pp. 17-20)

    As suggested in Chapter One, an unreconstructed North Korea poses long-term challenges for the United States and the broader, international community. The Six-Party Talks represent an attempt to multilaterally address the most-pressing component of these challenges—North Korea’s ongoing nuclear programs—and to lay a base for potentially addressing other components over the longer term. Our project was designed to support this effort indirectly by extending the multilateral process beyond the nuclear issue in an attempt to encourage a peaceful but fundamental modernization of the DPRK system. In the process, the project sought to inject fresh ideas about modernization into...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Attributes of the System and Instruments for Its Modernization
    (pp. 21-28)

    The research method we used (see Figure 2.1) is launched (Step I) by briefly identifying and characterizing specific characteristics, or attributes, of the North Korean system as archaic, or non-modern, and hence warranting and potentially benefiting from modernization. Two criteria are used to define an attribute as non-modern:

    It adversely affects the well-being of the North Korean population, the growth of the North Korean economy, and, indeed, the survival and renewal of the North Korean state.

    It has typically changed for the benefit and more rapid growth of successfully developing and modernizing countries (such as South Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia,...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Combining the Instruments into Operational Plans
    (pp. 29-36)

    The policy instruments in the baskets described in Chapter Three can be combined to form different operational plans, or portfolios, for modernization (Step III in Figure 2.1). Operational plans formed this way share the broad objective of modernizing the North Korean system, but seek to bring modernization about in different ways. For example, the first of our three illustrative portfolios, Plan A, makes more use of the political basket of instruments and less use of the economic, security, and socio-cultural baskets. Our second illustrative portfolio, Plan B, places heavier emphasis on the economic basket of instruments and less on the...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE A Consensus Plan
    (pp. 37-46)

    As discussed earlier, the research project described in this monograph entailed the active participation of and contributions from six research institutions in five countries. All of these institutions view themselves as relatively independent scholarly bodies, but they are nonetheless quite diverse in terms of domiciles, national identity, and perspectives. Consequently, our discussions in this collaborative project revealed both mutually shared assumptions and perspectives on the broad issues of modernization in North Korea, as well as divergent, sometimes sharply so, assumptions and perspectives.

    Among the assumptions and perspectives that the research participants shared were

    Peaceful evolution of the DPRK along more...

  13. CHAPTER SIX Project Results and Conclusions
    (pp. 47-50)

    As we indicated at the outset, the objectives of this research were to identify, develop, and evaluate baskets of policy instruments that can induce fundamental but peaceful system change in North Korea, alter the specifically defined non-modern attributes of the DPRK system, and serve as a basis for multilateral, cooperative actions by the five other key countries concerned. The project also sought to integrate the policy instruments into illustrative operational plans, or portfolios, for modernizing the North Korean system and, more broadly, injecting fresh ideas about modernization into the DPRK’s structure for North Korea’s consideration and potential implementation.

    The project...

  14. APPENDIX Contributions from the Five Collaborating Institutions Other Than RAND
    (pp. 51-96)
  15. References
    (pp. 97-100)