The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future MOBI

The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future With everything that has been happening on the Korean peninsula this past year, Cha s book is a must read to understand as much as we can what motivates North Korea. I ve never been big on nonfiction, preferring mostly to learn about make believe worlds and characters over the real world and its notable figures But North Korea, in all its infinite secrecy and horror, holds a monopoly in my mind, and after seeing this book featured on The Colbert Report, I decided to give it a go There isn t much else to be said here, other than that this is without a doubt the definitive source of information on nearly every aspect of North Korea from its formation to pre I ve never been big on nonfiction, preferring mostly to learn about make believe worlds and characters over the real world and its notable figures But North Korea, in all its infinite secrecy and horror, holds a monopoly in my mind, and after seeing this book featured on The Colbert Report, I decided to give it a go There isn t much else to be said here, other than that this is without a doubt the definitive source of information on nearly every aspect of North Korea from its formation to present day, subjects ranging from the country s foreign policy and on and off but mostly on nuclear program to its well documented but still hopelessly shadowy human rights record The author, who had several years of experience working directly with or perhapsaccurately, against North Korean delegates on the NSC, goes into remarkable detail in every chapter, to the point where some areas were downright tedious to get through, rife with endless statistical information All said and done, though, I m a firm believer in the know thy enemy rule, and this account of the world s largest prison is a must read for anyone seekinginformation about it, beyond the sensationalist scraps of info published on the news The Impossible Book How to Get North Korea Wrong I wrote this review when the book came out I ll let you decide if it has held up to the test of time The North Korean regime was supposed to have collapsed by now Indeed, for years analysts debated not if the regime would fall, but whether the landing would be hard or soft Instead, it has become a nuclear power and continues to thumb its nose at the world, defying the best efforts of a succession of American presidents to lure the reclusive s The Impossible Book How to Get North Korea Wrong I wrote this review when the book came out I ll let you decide if it has held up to the test of time The North Korean regime was supposed to have collapsed by now Indeed, for years analysts debated not if the regime would fall, but whether the landing would be hard or soft Instead, it has become a nuclear power and continues to thumb its nose at the world, defying the best efforts of a succession of American presidents to lure the reclusive state into a constructive relationship with the rest of the world.Georgetown University professor Victor Cha served one of the presidents who tried to strike a deal with the North Koreans, and the one on whose watch North Korea acquired nukes, George W Bush Cha is the first member of the North Korea team from Bush s second term to publish a book about his experiences negotiating with the North, which gives him a unique perspective He was the first Korea specialist and the first Korean American to be the Asia director at the National Security Council NSC , and now contributes regularly to the New York Times and the Washington Post, making him one of theinfluential voices on North Korea both inside and outside the Beltway.Unfortunately, his book isthan disappointing it s just plain awful, and a huge missed opportunity Cha not only fails to shed any light on North Korea policymaking during the Bush years, he also gets the country completely wrong.For starters, Cha tries to spice up his book with his personal experiences in North Korea but winds up with littlethan banal travelogues At several points he lambasts CNN, Time, and,broadly, the Western media for their shallow depictions of North Korea, but he is just as guilty Of thethan 700 footnotes, fewer than a handful refer to personal interviews or Korean language materials Instead, we are presented with endless summaries of English language sources The book lacks the compelling narrative arc of Los Angeles Times reporter Barbara Demick s powerful Nothing to Envy Ordinary Lives in North Korea or the research and rigor of Kongdan Oh and Ralph Hassig s The Hidden People of North Korea Everyday Life in the Hermit Kingdom Cha s book is also almost entirely bereft of new ideas about how we should understand or deal with North Korea The only new concept I could find is nothingthan academic sounding nonsense elaborating on a notion he first introduced last fall in the Washington Post, Cha describes North Korea as being in the grip of neojuche revivalism, or a resurgence of ideology in general and a doctrine of self reliance in particular The problem is that ideological fervor never receded only the slogans have changed Moreover, juche has not been North Korea s ruling ideology for years In his maiden speech on April 15, the North s new, twenty something ruler, Kim Jong un, mentioned the slogans military first and a strong and prosperous nationthan twenty times He mentioned juche exactly once.Amazingly, Cha does not report how North Korea policy was made during the Bush years He writes about what an honor it was to write policy memos for Bush, but never tells readers what he actually wrote or how his views might have differed from others in the administration Cha s biggest revelation is that he was doing the dishes when he learned that North Korea was about to test a nuclear device in 2006.Cha does not even attempt to describe the personal or institutional rivalries between and within the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the intelligence community For example, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill is relegated to a minor role in Cha s narrative, even though Hill was the chief U.S negotiator with North Korea and was instrumental in what few diplomatic advances the administration can claim and a thorn in the side of administration hard liners like John Bolton Cha s most revealing and colorful stories come from an excellent book about the Hermit Kingdom s nuclear program former CNN senior Asia correspondent Mike Chinoy s Meltdown The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis The Impossible State also lacks the circular firing squad quality that made many of the previous Bush administration memoirs at the very least highly entertaining Cha manages to avoid the introspection of his former boss Condoleezza Rice in her book, No Higher Honor, or that of former North Korea negotiator Jack Prichard in Failed Diplomacy He papers over the differences between administration neocons like Dick Cheney and pro engagement pragmatists like Colin Powell, but never lets the reader into the process For Cha, it seems sufficient to lay all the blame for a failed policy at North Korea s doorstep.Cha s final chapter is entitled The End Is Near, which, while accurately describing the reader s place in the book, does not persuasively make the case for the future of North Korea In a New York Times article he wrote immediately after Kim Jong il s death in December 2011, Cha insisted that North Korea as we know it is over Whether it comes apart in the next few weeks or over several months Yet the consensus view in Seoul is that the North Korean state is anything but close to collapse The debate there centers on whether Kim Jong un can pursue reform and opening to the West or whether he will follow in the failed footsteps of his father.Cha believes that, like the Middle East last year, North Korea is one spark away from a wildfire that will destroy the regime This is either wishful thinking or a reflection of Cha s inadequate understanding of the institutions and policies that hold the regime together At present, the public s capacity to challenge the government is nonexistent North Korea is a society with an all pervasive security apparatus that ensures the thorough indoctrination of all its citizens virtually from birth A few sparks may begin to fly, but the regime s ability to stamp them out remains formidable Inexplicably, Cha goes on to acknowledge that he will not be surprised if the regime is still standing a decade from now The title of the chapter should be The End Is Near Or Maybe Not Cha s book also represents the latest at tempt to whitewash a presidency that has recently been deemed by a C SPAN survey of presidential historians one of the ten worst in American history The title of Cha s seventh chapter describes what the Bush administration was trying to achieve namely, The Complete Verifiable and Irreversible Dismantlement of North Korea s nuclear program Unfortunately, the book doesn t tell us what North Korea would have received in exchange for denuclearizing, surely a key factor in any negotiation Cha s analysis seems to rest almost entirely on the idea that the North Koreans are acting in bad faith While North Korea did violate the terms of the 1994 Agreed Framework by pursuing a clandestine uranium enrichment program, that did not mean the whole deal had to be scrapped The fact remains that the Clinton administration managed to get North Korea s spent nuclear fuel rods from which plutonium can be processed and turned into A bombs put under international lock and key, while the Bush administration s arrogant, botched diplomacy allowed Pyongyang to get its hands on those fuel rods and then build and test a nuclear weapon Cha argues that the failure of the Obama administration to make any headway is proof that it doesn t really matter who is in the White House That may be true now that North Korea is a nuclear power and the regime feels insecure during the transition to a new Dear Leader It was not true, however, in 2001, when North Korea still lacked nukes and its officials were ready to move forward with the new Bush team.Perhaps because Cha believes that the North Korean regime s demise is imminent, his book is bereft of policy advice This is in sharp contrast to Going Critical, former diplomat Joel Wit s definitive account of the first North Korea nuclear crisis in the early 1990s Wit managed to get hundreds of formerly secret documents declassified Cha Zero After meticulously recounting the Clinton administration s negotiations with North Korea, Wit concludes with a set of lessons that should be required reading for all future U.S negotiators.Lastly, The Impossible State would have benefited fromcareful editing One chapter includes a long and irrelevant digression on the life of one of South Korea s presidents There are also numerous basic factual errors and inconsistencies The U.S spy ship captured by North Korea in 1968, the USS Pueblo the only American naval ship still in foreign hands , for example, is located in Pyongyang, not in the eastern coastal city of Wonsan Cha writes that Kim Jong il ruled for thirteen years several pages later, the number jumps to seventeen the latter figure is correct Paragraphs are frequentlythan a page long one monster weighs in at two and a half pages.Cha begins his acknowledgments with a quote from President Bush, who told him, as he was leaving the NSC, Thank you for your service to the nation You left it in a better place than when you got here The historical record would suggest otherwise North Korea became a nuclear power on Cha s watch how can that be regarded as anything but a profound failure This was a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read written by a former adviser the George W Bush, whom was party to the ongoing negotiations with the DPRK to abandon it s weapons programmes and westernise itself As opposed to the majority of books on North Korea, the Author does not focus solely on the extraordinary personality cult of the Kim Dynasty The Author prefers to focus instead on the regimes ideology, akin to Fascsim and or extreme Nationalism the economy, Increased market Li This was a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read written by a former adviser the George W Bush, whom was party to the ongoing negotiations with the DPRK to abandon it s weapons programmes and westernise itself As opposed to the majority of books on North Korea, the Author does not focus solely on the extraordinary personality cult of the Kim Dynasty The Author prefers to focus instead on the regimes ideology, akin to Fascsim and or extreme Nationalism the economy, Increased market Liberalisation since 2002 and a willingess on the part of the DPRK to concede that it cannot support it s own people , and the regimes on off affair with China The Author also examines the practical and theoretical underpinnings of the North Korean Juche , and identifies that whilst the official state ideology of self reliance is an oxy moron as it continues to be bailed out by China Russia, the World Food Programme, and has received aid from Japan and the USA, the imposition of the rigid state doctrine from the previous Dear Leader , relegates the leadership of the DPRK into extracting what it can from foreign partners merely to survive The theory of the Juche negates the possibility of putting anything other than the military first The Author also identifies that the key reason for the continued existence of this failed state, is the power struggle and global insecurities of the competing powers engaged in the Six Party talks In essence, a unified Korea with a market economy and relative political and social liberty, would pose an ideological threat to Communist China Whilst a nuclear war on the DMZ is an option best left unexplored, the existence of North Korea acts as a useful bulwark for China against the raging Liberal Democratic regime in the South Thus, the reason for the continued existence of the DPRK is not due solely to the iron grip that the regime has over it s people, but is due, in the main, to it s border relationships with South Korea China and Russia No , no less The book has made for timely reading in light of the acession of the Great Successor in North Korea, Kim Jong Un is an unknown quantity, having been reportedly educated in the West , and now the young and inexperienced leader of an ossified museum piece bound up in it s rhetorical and strategic contradictions The predictable Nuclear tests and rocket launches have continued, as have the demands from the leadership of the DPRK for Six Party talks, against a backdrop of continued sanctions, food aid, clandestine Chinese Aid, and the suspension of the South Korean Sunshine Policy The Author indicates that this plethora of contradictory messages programmes, and sanctions is the raison d etre of the DPRK and the key reason as to why it still exists to this day In essence, until an international concensus can be reached on what to do about the North Korean problem , both the circular narrative, and the existence of the DPRK is assured by pure luck and not judgement This condemns not only the Korean Peninsula to further insecurity, but also punishes the civilians living within the North whom are bound to venerate the very ideology which is the cause of their crippling condition A Comprehensive book, the second book in my Korea series An education.It would be interesting to know how many diplomats that have worked with North Korea have any hair left Regardless if Pyongyang was cornered or backed itself into their current pathetic state it is clear to even their allies that the North simply does not understand the modern world or basic tenants of diplomacy Those seem to have receded after sung.A great book primarily because the author is impassioned working toward A Comprehensive book, the second book in my Korea series An education.It would be interesting to know how many diplomats that have worked with North Korea have any hair left Regardless if Pyongyang was cornered or backed itself into their current pathetic state it is clear to even their allies that the North simply does not understand the modern world or basic tenants of diplomacy Those seem to have receded after sung.A great book primarily because the author is impassioned working towards ending the stalemate and helping the North Koreans I found the first part of the book to be my favorite only because it developed the history and tale of North Korea The chapters on sluggish diplomacy are well developed but maddening Very happy to see we have such highly informed people delicately working this issue.The author is well informed in all things North Korea and makes references to how pop culture views the North s leaders South Park movie It s such an odd thing that this country still exists as it does to this day the children today learn to conjugate past future tenses with we killed Americans and we will kill Americans and yet under Sung the country was better off Beyond the fact that the founding father of North Korea spent all of his childhood not in North Korea the most telling lesson on North Korea is that when Khrushchev emoted that Stalin was a tyrant monster Kim reacted very badly in that he idolized that man and had hoped to recreate so much of Joseph s ideal in the North It simply reveals so much That the Chinese and Russians have ramped up their engagements with Seoul only further tells how left behind Pyongyang really is holding on to the old ideal and the personality cult of Kim Il sung I went back and forth on 3 or 4 stars for this, but I think 3 is the honest appraisal.This is a very interesting take on the history and culture of North Korea, generally from a foreign policy standpoint The author was involved with various diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, and was an advisor on East Asia for George W Bush The book has a ton of great information on the early history of the DPRK, its relationships with its neighbors, and the bizarre personality cult that follows the Ki I went back and forth on 3 or 4 stars for this, but I think 3 is the honest appraisal.This is a very interesting take on the history and culture of North Korea, generally from a foreign policy standpoint The author was involved with various diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, and was an advisor on East Asia for George W Bush The book has a ton of great information on the early history of the DPRK, its relationships with its neighbors, and the bizarre personality cult that follows the Kim family through three generations of authoritarian rule.There are two reasons it does not earn the extra star One is the organization The book leaps around from subject to subject in a jarring manner at times, and often a subsection of a chapter should clearly have been its own chapter This doesn t affect the veracity or relevance of the information, but DOES make following the train of thought difficult at times.The second reason is the apparent total lack of editing Not in terms of word choice and sentence structure, but in consistency I suspect that this book was written in smaller chunks over a long period, and then stitched together at a late stage in the process It s hard to explain exactly what I mean, but there is one example in particular.In 2010, the DPRK fired artillery shells at a ROK island called Yeonpyeong The author describes the incident, analyzes the fallout, and moves on Further into the book, he will mention it in passing, which makes sense But the way he refers to it is very odd He will say, the incident where North Korea fired on a South Korean island or in 2010, when North Korea used artillery to attack a small island in South Korea , etc Why not call it the Teonpyeong Incident Or the island shelling incident Something that shows a continuous link with the previous text I think this proves that he did not write the book in order, but combined smaller writings It s not a major point, I guess, but it shows a certain lack of care That, or a lack of respect for the reader to remember something that happened 2 chapters ago.So, with caveats, I do recommend this book I will warn potential readers that is can be very dense at points A great deal of economic detail, and the minutiae of diplomacy But if you are willing to skim a tiny bit, it is packed full of great information on a country that is rapidly becoming very important to the world stage, yet is one we know almost nothing aboutEdited I would like to add that there was a bit of an embarrassing amount of Bush defense in the book The author seemed desperate to explain why Bush had done absolutely everything right, and how he couldn t understand why anyone could possibly doubt the president s motives Keeping in mind that the events in question happened well after the disastrous Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns, and the possible deliberate misinformation given by the executive branch in defending the invasion of Iraq, in particular Bush had, by this point, hardly shown himself to be some amazing foreign policy planner I don t know why Cha seems so blind to this I don t expect the guy to rant about Bush or anything, but he goes out of his way to express his mystification at any doubt towards the president s actions It has probably become apparent by now that I am fascinated with North Korea and how such an isolated country can still exist in this world of ever increasing abilities to communicate with people from around the globe I write this review from my couch in Chengdu, China, where I just got off Skype with my parents who live in Idaho, have emailed several friends back in the States and caught up on world news via a variety of online newspapers I know what I am talking about when it comes to being It has probably become apparent by now that I am fascinated with North Korea and how such an isolated country can still exist in this world of ever increasing abilities to communicate with people from around the globe I write this review from my couch in Chengdu, China, where I just got off Skype with my parents who live in Idaho, have emailed several friends back in the States and caught up on world news via a variety of online newspapers I know what I am talking about when it comes to being connected Recently, I reviewed Escape from Camp 14 which was a memoir of one man s time in the horrific camps of Northern Korea The Impossible State is quite a different look at the country taking an in depth approach to everything from the history of the country to detailed looks at each of the Kim family members who have ruled throughout the last decades to the economy as it is today and why it can t sustain itself.See the rest of this review andat www.insearchoftheendofthesidewalk.com If you re interested in North Korea who isn t this is a comprehensive look at everything about it, its history and its future There are tons of fascinating tidbits about the Hermit Kingdom, from the funny North Korean negotiators are apparently quite fond of quoting from Gone With the Wind in the midst of intense discussions to the horrifying babies born in North Korean gulags are sometimes killed by tossing them all into a crate right after birth and simply letting them starve to deat If you re interested in North Korea who isn t this is a comprehensive look at everything about it, its history and its future There are tons of fascinating tidbits about the Hermit Kingdom, from the funny North Korean negotiators are apparently quite fond of quoting from Gone With the Wind in the midst of intense discussions to the horrifying babies born in North Korean gulags are sometimes killed by tossing them all into a crate right after birth and simply letting them starve to death The author was President Bush s North Korea adviser and it s pretty clear that a he knowsabout this subject than probably anyone else b he is, understandably, not the greatest book writer uses tons of cliche phrases and c he is annoyingly determined to remind you how great George W Bush was on this issue, anyway and how the nefarious media doesn t give him his due Those latter two prevent me from giving itthan a liked it rating, but I m still very glad I read it and learned a lot North Korea has been dubbed the worst place on Earth, and as those who ve read accounts of people who have escaped from this bizarre and horrible place know, the moniker is fitting The oppression and menace imposed both internally and externally by the government of North Korea is, thankfully, beyond the imagination of most citizens of other nations.Victor Cha sheds a great deal of light on this darkened corner of the world, in his highly readable if sometimes slightly repetitive review of North Korea has been dubbed the worst place on Earth, and as those who ve read accounts of people who have escaped from this bizarre and horrible place know, the moniker is fitting The oppression and menace imposed both internally and externally by the government of North Korea is, thankfully, beyond the imagination of most citizens of other nations.Victor Cha sheds a great deal of light on this darkened corner of the world, in his highly readable if sometimes slightly repetitive review of the history of North Korea, from its foundation in the wake of World War II, through the boom years of the Cold War, when Kim Il Sung played China and the Soviets against each other to support the growth and financial success of his nation relative to the chaotic South, and into the modern day, when Kim s son, and now grandson, use nuclear weapons development as a cudgel against the US and its allies to maintain their power and personal comfort.Cha s experience as a negotiator on the behalf of the U.S government lends his account an immediacy and personal impact that a typical academic might lack, and he brings the underlying drama of otherwise highly formalized and scripted diplomatic negotiations to life.While there are no easy answers for the long suffering people of North Korea, nor for its worried and bullied neighbors, Cha manages to wind up the book on a hopeful note, describing some of the plans that are just being laid into place to deal with the eventual, inevitable downfall of the North Korean regime As Doctor Martin Luther King famously observed, The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice Justice for the murdered and impoverished millions of North Koreans, as well as the regime s victims beyond its borders, will be slow in coming, but there can be no doubt as to its arrival Let us hope that Cha is correct, and that the future for the Korean peninsula is peaceful and prosperous A meaty, fast paced portrait of North Korean society, economy, politics and foreign policy Foreign AffairsThe definitive account of North Korea, its veiled past and uncertain future, from the former Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security CouncilIn The Impossible State, seasoned international policy expert and lauded scholar Victor Cha pulls back the curtain on this controversial and isolated country, providing the best look yet at North Korea s history, the rise of the Kim family dynasty, and the obsessive personality cult that empowers them He illuminates the repressive regime s complex economy and culture, its appalling record of human rights abuses, and its belligerent relationship with the United States, and analyzes the regime s major security issues from the seemingly endless war with its southern neighbor to its frightening nuclear ambitions all in light of the destabilizing effects of Kim Jong il s recent deathHow this enigmatic nation state one that regularly violates its own citizens inalienable rights and has suffered famine, global economic sanctions, a collapsed economy, and near total isolation from the rest of the world has continued to survive has long been a question that preoccupies the West Cha reveals a land of contradictions, one facing a pivotal and disquieting transition of power from tyrannical father to inexperienced son, and delves into the ideology that leads an oppressed, starving populace to cling so fiercely to its failed leadershipWith rare personal anecdotes from the author s time in Pyongyang and his tenure as an adviser in the White House, this engagingly written, authoritative, and highly accessible history offers much needed answers to the most pressing questions about North Korea and ultimately warns of a regime that might be closer to its end than many might think a political collapse for which America and its allies may be woefully unprepared ➜ [KINDLE] ❆ Poltergeist (Greywalker, By Kat Richardson ➦ – Kleankitchen.co.uk fast paced portrait of North Korean society ❃ [EPUB] ✻ OBaby By Geoffrey Johnson ➜ – Kleankitchen.co.uk economy ➥ Defiant (MacKinnons Rangers, Ebook ➫ Author Pamela Clare – Kleankitchen.co.uk politics and foreign policy Foreign AffairsThe definitive account of North Korea ❰Reading❯ ➶ 21 Divisiones de Los Misterios Sanses Author Ernesto Bravo Estrada – Kleankitchen.co.uk its veiled past and uncertain future [Reading] ➶ Nightfall (Dark Age Dawning, Author Ellen Connor – Kleankitchen.co.uk from the former Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security CouncilIn The Impossible State ✅ The Good Daughter PDF / Epub ⚣ Author Karin Slaughter – Kleankitchen.co.uk seasoned international policy expert and lauded scholar Victor Cha pulls back the curtain on this controversial and isolated country [Read] ➱ Crysis By Peter Watts – Kleankitchen.co.uk providing the best look yet at North Korea s history [KINDLE] ❀ Fractured (Will Trent, Author Karin Slaughter – Kleankitchen.co.uk the rise of the Kim family dynasty ❴PDF / Epub❵ ☂ Ghost Author Fred Burton – Kleankitchen.co.uk and the obsessive personality cult that empowers them He illuminates the repressive regime s complex economy and culture ❴Reading❵ ➶ Nerve Author Dick Francis – Kleankitchen.co.uk its appalling record of human rights abuses [Download] ✤ Cinco Dias de Vida Author Julie Lawson Timmer – Kleankitchen.co.uk and its belligerent relationship with the United States ☂ [PDF / Epub] ☁ Backstage By Nikki Turner ✐ – Kleankitchen.co.uk and analyzes the regime s major security issues from the seemingly endless war with its southern neighbor to its frightening nuclear ambitions all in light of the destabilizing effects of Kim Jong il s recent deathHow this enigmatic nation state one that regularly violates its own citizens inalienable rights and has suffered famine ❮EPUB❯ ❄ Bodily Harm ✿ Author Margaret Atwood – Kleankitchen.co.uk global economic sanctions [KINDLE] ❂ Shadow Land ❆ Peter Straub – Kleankitchen.co.uk a collapsed economy [PDF / Epub] ☀ Beauty By Lisa Daily – Kleankitchen.co.uk and near total isolation from the rest of the world has continued to survive has long been a question that preoccupies the West Cha reveals a land of contradictions [PDF] ✩ Hexes and Hemlines (A Witchcraft Mystery, By Juliet Blackwell – Kleankitchen.co.uk one facing a pivotal and disquieting transition of power from tyrannical father to inexperienced son ➽ [Reading] ➿ Pink By Gus Van Sant ➲ – Kleankitchen.co.uk and delves into the ideology that leads an oppressed ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☉ Underground (Greywalker, Author Kat Richardson – Kleankitchen.co.uk starving populace to cling so fiercely to its failed leadershipWith rare personal anecdotes from the author s time in Pyongyang and his tenure as an adviser in the White House ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☉ Doppelgangsters (Esther Diamond, Author Laura Resnick – Kleankitchen.co.uk this engagingly written [Download] ➺ Doppelgangster (Esther Diamond, ➿ Laura Resnick – Kleankitchen.co.uk authoritative [EPUB] ✻ Bone Key (John Deal Author Les Standiford – Kleankitchen.co.uk and highly accessible history offers much needed answers to the most pressing questions about North Korea and ultimately warns of a regime that might be closer to its end than many might think a political collapse for which America and its allies may be woefully unprepared

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