Accession Number:



Projecting Pyongyang: The Future of North Korea's Kim Jong IL Regime

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This monograph considers the future trajectory of the Pyongyang regime and explores a range of future scenarios. It does not consider the future of North Korea as a geographic or territorial entity. Some analysts and observers discuss the future without clarifying whether they are discussing the country of North Korea or the Pyongyang regime. In this monograph, the focus is on the fate of the regime dominated by the Kim Dynasty, initially ruled by Kim Il Sung and then led by his son, Kim Jong Il, following the formers death in 1994. A fundamental assumption is that the regime will collapse. Thus, the key question is not whether the regime will collapse, but when and how it will collapse. The logic behind this assumption is based on this authors assessment that the Kim regime is a totalitarian one, and that such a regime has a limited life span. However, this collapse may be a long and drawn out process that could very well play out over a period of years or even over the course of a decade or more. The purpose of this monograph is to set out an array of scenarios to assist planners and decisionmakers in thinking about and preparing for possible future contingencies concerning North Korea. This monograph does not dwell on war or conflict scenarios involving North Korea because military planners have already focused considerable effort and attention on these. It is entirely possible that the fate of the country as a political, territorial, and juridical entity is intimately bound up with the fate of the regime, but one should not assume this to be so. In other words, the collapse of the Kim regime may not lead to the collapse of North Korea as a state. Moreover, one should not assume that even if the regime collapse is followed by state collapse that these events would inexorably lead to Korean unification.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement: