Could a revolt overthrow North Korea?

Aug 2016
977
US&A
#1
For a tiny country trapped essentially trapped between the ideologies of two superpowers and run by a homicidal madman who grows fat on emmental cheese while his country starves, the nation of North Korea seems fairly stable.

I assume it's the Kim dynasty's extremely harsh rule that allows this. Even so, I am a little amazed there have been no attempts at revolution.

Is there any way a revolution could've overthrown the Kim dynasty?
 
Likes: Futurist

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,586
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#2
All the revolutions in history have worked thanks to two factors:

* existence of an establishment totally disengaged from the population [so easy to become a target for the people]
* class organization [in the French Revolution if the Third State, the "tiers état ", wasn't able to organize itself we would haven't see a revolution]

Sure in North Korea there is an establishment totally disengaged from the population, but they miss a wide organized class able to run a revolution [and Kim works a lot to avoid this situation!].
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,066
Dispargum
#3
I think history teaches us that any government can be overthrown, even a supposedly stable government like the US. Given the list of problems the OP describes I find it surprising that North Korea has not been overthrown already. Alpine Luke is correct that the Kim Dynasty has worked very hard to prevent any kind of effective opposition. The most likely revolution in North Korea might be a military coup. I suppose the Korean Workers Party could also oust Kim and elevate another leader, but those are the obvious threats that Kim watches most closely.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,586
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#4
I think history teaches us that any government can be overthrown, even a supposedly stable government like the US. Given the list of problems the OP describes I find it surprising that North Korea has not been overthrown already. Alpine Luke is correct that the Kim Dynasty has worked very hard to prevent any kind of effective opposition. The most likely revolution in North Korea might be a military coup. I suppose the Korean Workers Party could also oust Kim and elevate another leader, but those are the obvious threats that Kim watches most closely.
This is correct. Anyway we have to consider the North Korean context: the dynasty [even if in a Communist context!] is almost divine ... the Army cannot compete with a "deity".
 
Likes: Futurist

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,805
Western Eurasia
#5
I could imagine a palace coup, but not a popular revolt. The society seems to be too tightly controlled, every place is full of informants, people are spying on each other, there would be no opportunity to organize large scale civil unrest. The regime is too totalitarian for that and there are no alternative channels, like the online social media what existed during the Arab spring... there is no such thing in NK.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,045
Republika Srpska
#6
I could imagine a palace coup, but not a popular revolt. The society seems to be too tightly controlled, every place is full of informants, people are spying on each other, there would be no opportunity to organize large scale civil unrest. The regime is too totalitarian for that and there are no alternative channels, like the online social media what existed during the Arab spring... there is no such thing in NK.
However, I do think even societies like that have their breaking points. It's just that it often takes a very long time for a society like NK to reach the breaking point.
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2019
1,438
Kansas
#7
I think history teaches us that any government can be overthrown, even a supposedly stable government like the US. Given the list of problems the OP describes I find it surprising that North Korea has not been overthrown already. Alpine Luke is correct that the Kim Dynasty has worked very hard to prevent any kind of effective opposition. The most likely revolution in North Korea might be a military coup. I suppose the Korean Workers Party could also oust Kim and elevate another leader, but those are the obvious threats that Kim watches most closely.
One area that North Korea excels in is the restriction of information, and the flow of what information there is. The majority of North Koreans dont even realize they should be dissatisfied. The other contributing factor is how much the organization of the government resembles a criminal cadre, not unlike say the Mafia. Kim is the equivalent of a Godfather and an inner circle of 8 or so families keep him there.

The military of course allows all this to happen because many of the leaders are in on the same racket. Selling aid given by the UN etc etc. At the moment North Korea has a policy of Songun which is basically....Army always comes first. So they are kept happy even at the rank and file level.
 
Likes: Futurist
Jun 2018
471
New Hampshire
#8
In North Korea, a home grown revolt is virtually impossible. There is no social media or any manner organize to speak of. The secret police closely watch all of the country's citizens and the regime would quickly crush any internal descent. Unlike China or Russia, not even peaceful protests are allowed.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,797
SoCal
#9
In North Korea, a home grown revolt is virtually impossible. There is no social media or any manner organize to speak of. The secret police closely watch all of the country's citizens and the regime would quickly crush any internal descent. Unlike China or Russia, not even peaceful protests are allowed.
^

This, and also the fact that it would probably take a lot to actually get people to risk their lives in the pursuit of regime change. Not everyone wants to become a martyr.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,797
SoCal
#10
For a tiny country trapped essentially trapped between the ideologies of two superpowers and run by a homicidal madman who grows fat on emmental cheese while his country starves, the nation of North Korea seems fairly stable.

I assume it's the Kim dynasty's extremely harsh rule that allows this. Even so, I am a little amazed there have been no attempts at revolution.

Is there any way a revolution could've overthrown the Kim dynasty?
You'd probably need life in North Korea to become so bad that its population would actually be willing to risk their lives to rebel. Rebelling in North Korea is no easy matter given that the climate of fear there will probably ensure that any person who is "dreaming different dreams" is going to get ratted out on extremely quickly. :(
 
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