Revolts in North Korea, High Chances of Regime Change

[imText1]A proposal was made regarding the future of Kim Jong Il and North Korea’s regime suggesting a higher possibility of anti-Kim Jong Il forces within the country bringing about change to the regime, rather than reform and revolution occurring independently.

A conference to be held on the upcoming 21st in commemoration of the 2nd anniversary of the DailyNK and 7th anniversary of NKnet will discuss the “Possibility of Collapse of the North Korean Regime and Post-Kim Jong Il Korean Peninsula” addressed by Takesada Hideshi, researcher for the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), the main policy search of the Defense Agency of Japan who will present 5 possible scenarios for regime change.

In his preliminary discussions researcher Takesada said “In the early 1990’s, even when North Korea was first suspected of developing nukes, vast discussions spread relating to the ‘collapse of North Korea’” and added “However, since then 12 years have passed and not only has the Kim Jong Il regime maintained its structure but a nuclear experiment has also been tested.”

Though rumors of North Korea’s collapse has been rising lately, in anticipation of North Korea’s future strategy he said “It is possible that it will come down to 3 political strategies. Nuclear advancement and weapons of mass destruction will continue to be developed, the South-North Korea relationship will be improved and the gap between South Korea-U.S. alliance magnified.”

Collapse of the “Kim Jong Il regime” does not mean “collapse of North Korea”

Researcher Takesada also said “Collapse of the ‘Kim Jong Il regime’ does not necessarily mean the ‘collapse of North Korea’” and “Even if the Kim Jong Il regime does collapse there is a possibility of two scenarios, that either North Korea will continue to exist or in existence of the Kim Jong Il regime, North Korea will also collapse and reunify under South Korean rule.”

The five possible scenarios of the collapse of the North Korea ▲ Soft landing of the Kim Jong Il regime ▲ Hard landing, regime collapse resulting from anti-Kim Jong Il resistances from within ▲ Hard crash, reunification and end of the Kim Jong Il regime rising from inside revolts ▲ Soft crash, declaration ending the Kim Jong Il regime and reunification under South Korean rule ▲ No landing, continuation of the Kim Jong Il regime who possesses nuclear armaments.

He said “Kim Jong Il may first embrace the choice made by Lybia’s leader Gaddafi” and “In this case, Kim Jong Il will surrender all his nuclear plans and materials and agree to inspections by international organizations.”

Further he said “Kim Jong Il denouncing his authority due to his health may also fall into this case” and added “However, just as much as Kim Jong Il can realistically make development and improvements, his figure is questionable.”

Regime collapse resulting from anti-Kim Jong Il resistances from within “may occur through 2 possible outcomes, either through the independence of Chosun people or through the collaboration of the People’s Workers Party and the people’s army” and he explained “Nonetheless, this scenario will be impossible without the formation of anti-Kim Jong Il forces amongst the people’s army.”

“Romania falls into just this kind of example” and “In this case, power may be secured by placing efforts on the aim to improve and develop” he prospected.

The third scenario is when the Kim Jong Il regime collapses as a result of inner revolts, but there is no authority to transfer the power to. He prospected “Though the situation within North Korea continues to be unsettled, as there are no powers to settle the matter, rebellions may only occur” and “in this case, it is possible that South Korea will reconcile the matter and implement measures for reunification.”

“However, if this occurs there will be a conflict of arms and with war it is possible that part of the country will be destroyed.”

Possibility of emergency at Korean Peninsula cannot be excluded

The declaration for the end of the Kim Jong Il regime will only occur if North Korea was to select a similar path as East Germany and accept reunification with South Korea.

“This is the case where Kim Jong Il throws his pride away and places all responsibility into the hands of South Korea including the reconstruction of the economy, people’s welfare and increase in food, though this will not be possible if North Korea does not immediately push for mutual policies with the U.S. and South Korea” he explained.

The final scenario is Kim Jong Il refusing to surrender his nukes and maintaining power while continuing to confront the U.S.

He revealed “Only time will pass as nuclear developments are continued as the relationship with the U.S. deteriorates and negotiations are not achieved at the six party talks” and “In this scenario it is possible that an international conflict with arise at the Korean Peninsula.”

“In a case such as this, the U.S. could take militaristic action in order to break the stalemate, in which a small militaristic clash may occur related to the long-term U.N. sanctions and vessel inspection. Contrastingly, in the case U.S. soldiers are removed from Korea, a variety of scenarios may occur including the possibility of North Korea conducting a war for unification” he prospected.

Researcher Takesada said “The most important thing here that cannot be excluded is that in accordance with the fifth scenario is the possibility that emergency may occur on the Korean Peninsula” and “There is a high change that discontent within North Korea may decay and as the Kim Jong Il regime dies out, a revolutionary and improved force will take power. On comparing all the cases, this is the most realistic case.”