Could a revolt overthrow North Korea?

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,933
Dispargum
#13
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.
The military and the Party being the two most likely vehicles of revolution, they would have to turn against Kim. Both the Party and the military have interests. So long as Kim satisfies those interests, the military and the Party will be loyal. Danger for Kim arises if he can no longer keep those two constiuencies happy. If either the military or the Party perceived they could get a better deal with a different leader, Kim is in trouble. Kim stays in power so long as he can disperse largess. If he runs out of resources...
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,240
here
#14
The military and the Party being the two most likely vehicles of revolution, they would have to turn against Kim. Both the Party and the military have interests. So long as Kim satisfies those interests, the military and the Party will be loyal. Danger for Kim arises if he can no longer keep those two constiuencies happy. If either the military or the Party perceived they could get a better deal with a different leader, Kim is in trouble. Kim stays in power so long as he can disperse largess. If he runs out of resources...
Isn't there a cult of personality that surrounds the Kims that lends the family/dynasty a certain legitimacy? If so, I think it may be somewhat difficult for the party/military to replace him so easily.
 
Likes: Futurist

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,240
here
#18
I love how people always have their notebooks out around him.... don't wanna be the guy who isn't holding one when Dear Leader says something really wise or important.
 
Likes: Futurist
Apr 2018
589
India
#20
Conceptually speaking, North Korea looks weird and alien today doesn't mean that it has been like that since 1948. It wasn't such a universally rejected (in non-technical senses, many countries have functional relations with North Korea) country back in the days of the Cold War as it is today. KPA expeditionary forces fought in Vietnam with the NVA. Till late in the Cold War it even had a stronger economy than the South, thanks mostly to subsidies by USSR. So the famines and starving populace and disparity of lifestyle between the boss' family and the populace are quite recent things. Also note that said disparity between the lifestyles of the Kim family and the populace looks huge more because North Korea is sort of stuck in the 60s when it comes to consumables available to the populace and less because of oppression and all. One can think of it as a giant pre cultural revolution animated Chinese time capsule. It may look weird to us now but to them it may not be so, even more so since the population has effectively been shut off from the outside world. So an average North Korean citizen in his Mao suit, riding his bicycle to work may not be as unhappy without a cellphone and car as we think him to be.

Second thing is Stalinism. Makes things very difficult for wannabe rebels inside the corridors of power. Most people, while discussing the Stalinist leaning of DPRK leadership point out only towards the personality cult of the Kim family. However another aspect of Stalinism is preventive execution of people of power remotely suspected of subversion/ambition or in Stalin's case nothing at all. We hear reports of the regime executing officials on a regular basis on foreign newspapers who mostly report these incidents (when they are not fabricated or overblown) focusing on the barbarity of the regime but never on this aspect of Stalinism.

Thirdly 37% of the population in one way or another is attached to KPA which gulps down a whooping 60% of national budget. It's like an Army which has a country.

Combine all three and prospects of regime change looks bleak.
 
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