The North Korean State – Essay Example

The paper "The North Korean State" is a wonderful example of a history essay.
The North Korean state is faced with a mixture of political, economic and even social upheavals to maintain the status quo. Ruthless leadership, political manipulation by use of brinkmanship diplomacy, Nepotism, the cult of personality and failure of top leadership to challenge Pyongyang has ensured that Kim dominates the party to suppress administrative or judicial checks, independent social organizations, or a free press. In addition, North Koreas elites are forced to cooperate and ensure that unity prevails if they have to survive.
Private markets that can spur development in North Korean are strictly controlled. However, some changes have been realized partly because the bureaucrats, having realized that the government has no resources to reward their zeal, are looking for other opportunities. This has been accelerated by high levels of corruption within the regime making it possible for the things unthinkable sometimes back to happen. This has forced the authorities in North Korea to respond by reiterating anti-market rhetoric and unsuccessfully staging frequent campaigns against what they term as “subversive, ant-socialistic activities. The government has even tried Comprehensive rationing system which has been unsuccessful due to a shortage of funds and disruption of bureaucratic controls.
China and South Korea have tried to persuade Pyongyang to open up its economy to achieve their vested interests with no success. The Chinese government has been promoting its own style of reform in Pyongyang: economic liberalization with limited, incremental political change because it wants to maintain the north as a strategic zone and also it wants to keep the Korean Peninsula divided. There is also the fear of inflow of refugee in case North Korea implodes. Seoul hopes that the regime would maintain North Korea's stability while encouraging economic growth in order to close the huge gap between the two Koreas. To realize this, South has engaged in a number of cooperation projects backed by large government subsidies. This because of the worries that if the North was to reunite with the South, the costs of the North's reconstruction would wipe out the prosperity so far gained by the south.
The regime in Pyongyang has done the best to resist reform in order to maintain the status quo because of some reasons and no amount of external pressure will persuade Pyongyang to usher in reforms soon. Pyongyang has refused to embrace a beneficial strategy of reform because of paranoia of the greatest internal threats and therefore, they have to resist reforms to control the population. The regime also views Liberalization as a threat because adjusting to the market's demands would drive the general population to pay no attention to party rituals and focus more on making money. In addition, the government would have to allow information exchange, travel between different areas of the country, and the growth of horizontal connections beyond its direct control. North Korean elite fears reform because it would precipitate in a change of the guard. The regime leaders fear a backlash against their brutal rule and retribution from the South Koreans or their sympathizers. The elites in Pyongyang believe, seemingly with good reason, that they must all hang together or else they will surely be hanged separately
North Korean elites believe that with skillful diplomacy some progress can be realized and some aid maintained. For example, Pyongyang understands that Seoul is anxious about the consequences of North Korea's implosion and the costs of unification and as a result of this anxiety, the regime expects to secure moderate but steady flow of assistance from their neighbors. North Korea will also continue to ward off international pressure for a while because of its nuclear blackmail and this is the main reason why Pyongyang is unlikely to completely surrender its nuclear weapons arsenal as it’s the only real leverage with the international community.
Food aid, cooperation and spontaneous exchanges with the outside world will undermine Pyongyang as it will facilitate the spread of rumors about life in South Korea and thus erode the major pillar of Kim's legitimacy.