How would Kim Jong Un’s removal from power affect the likelihood of North Korean violence against the United States or South Korea, and what might be done to prevent such violence?
This should be the single most important question for policymakers, and yet it seems to be the least addressed question in the public discourse on North Korea. Approaching the question as a strategist – by considering the range of potential futures based on extant evidence – would empower Korea watchers to transcend the status quo bias that so often plagues Korea analysis and structure an approach to the question that allows us to avoid both speculation and point predictions. Upon examining the range of potential North Korean leadership futures, the two types of scenarios most likely to give rise to North Korean violence are a military takeover and an internal competition for power involving competing factions.
Read the full piece at NK News.
More from CNAS
CommentaryChallenging China’s Bid for App Dominance
Social media platforms are emerging as central to China’s efforts to shape the global information architecture....
By Kristine Lee & Karina Barbesino
CommentaryDefense Strategy for a Post-Trump World
In a recent piece warning about an emerging arms race in hypersonic missiles, The New York Times quoted Will Roper, the Air Force’s senior acquisition and technology official,...
By Van Jackson
The United States’ current diplomacy with North Korea has enduring implications for its strategic competition with China....
By Kristine Lee, Daniel Kliman & Joshua Fitt
CommentaryTrump has three options with North Korea to avoid a dangerous perfect storm in Asia
In the next few weeks, the Korean Peninsula will face a watershed moment -- one which could upend the United States' alliances in northeast Asia and regional stability as a wh...
By Duyeon Kim