SOPRANO STATE SUBTERFUGE: MAPPING NORTH KOREAN ILLICIT NETWORKS
Nakazono, Garett H.
Dobyns, Matthew M.
Kroll, Philip R.
Tullius, John D.
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This thesis researches the United States’ approach to the illicit networks in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and, using social network analysis, illuminates characteristics of several networks, thereby providing the U.S. government with options to exert influence over the DPRK regime. As the situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to evolve, it is paramount to look for new approaches that support a peaceful diplomatic resolution or create an advantage over current conditions in anticipation of potential future conflict. The study employs social network analysis of DPRK illicit organizations, networks, and personalities to demonstrate the depth and complexity of the DPRK regime. It shows that while sanctions and international efforts have eroded diplomatic ties in some areas and slowed the regime’s weapons proliferation program and its economic sustainment, the sanctions and other efforts have not solved—and will not solve—the problem. Status-quo tactics and penalties are only temporarily and marginally delaying the DPRK’s progress in advancing the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology. Thus, the United States needs to prepare additional options to preserve its national interests.
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