Economic revival: the key to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea's survival
Kim, David T.
Miller, Alice Lyman
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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is using all avenues to include nuclear capability for its regime survival, which is threatening the peace within the Northeast Asia region. The DPRK is perceived as an outcast by the international community and has few means to legitimize its regime other than acts of terrorism and an illicit economy that sustains regime survival despite international sanctions. Past economic policies and reforms have failed with major social consequences. Continued economic downfall will lead to instability of the regime, causing international disorder and suffering to DPRK citizens. A strong economy is a major factor in maintaining stability within a state, and if citizens are able to meet their basic needs, elites are in better positions to maintain their power. The DPRK, as a hard-line authoritarian regime, instead maintains power through repression and an informal economy. The fall of the Soviet Union, the DPRK's biggest donor, led to a halt in foreign aid. To make matters worse, monsoon events and mismanagement of the economy led to deadly famines. For the sake of the regime's survival and regional stability, the DPRK has to change its perspective on its economic policies.
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