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While no one can really be sure of Kim [Jong-un]’s intentions, it should be apparent to him as the third-generation leader of the Kim family regime that sustainable development and prosperity have eluded the DPRK ever since its founding in 1948.

Instructions

In separate essays, comment on the accuracy of the assessments of developments in and between South Korea and North Korea in the excerpts from recent statements by two prominent Korea experts cited below. Your essays must be based primarily on information in the course readings assigned since the midterm examination. For additional credit, the essays also should include information from the related lectures and any supplemental readings you have completed. The essays must be a minimum of 1100 but no more than 1500 words each in 12-point font.

Essay Question #1

While no one can really be sure of Kim [Jong-un]’s intentions, it should be apparent to him as the third-generation leader of the Kim family regime that sustainable development and prosperity have eluded the DPRK ever since its founding in 1948. Notwithstanding government attempts to hermetically seal North Korea off from external information and influences, an ever-growing minority of citizens are becoming aware of the relative wealth of their northern neighbors in China, as well as the absolute affluence of South Koreans. It is quite probable that Kim realizes he needs to give his people the good life before popular discontent begins to foment and gather momentum.

Essay Question #2

With attention focused on the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, the world seems to have forgotten the simple fact that North Korea was a problem state and a grave security threat, especially to South Korea, even before it had nuclear capabilities. In the flurry of excitement over summit meetings between old foes – the United States, North Korea and South Korea – almost totally overlooked also seem to be North Korea’s human rights issue and the Kim dynasty’s pattern of deceptive maneuvering and unreliability which that regime has demonstrated repeatedly in its international and inter-Korean dealings. When the Republic of (South) Korea was founded in 1948, it was a crowning achievement of the liberal order, proof that an Asian country could adopt the same core beliefs as democracies in the West. Now, those core democratic beliefs are being challenged by a new government preaching democracy but in reality, systematically destroying that very democracy [through its efforts to achieve reconciliation with North Korea]. 


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