Sunday, June 14, 2015

Doomsday: The Coming Collapse of North Korea

Those of us who worked on collapse planning in the 1990's never ever predicted when the Kim Family Regime would collapse.  Only that if it does collapse it could be catastrophic so the ROK/US Alliance should plan and prepare for collapse.  We have done a lot of planning but very little significant preparation.

I have spent a little time thinking about this problem.  I do not ever remember briefing  Mr. Metzl.  The only person on the National Security Council who showed any interest in planning and preparing for the collapse of the Kim Family Regime was Len Hawley (who interestingly was the author of PDD 56 The Management of Complex Contingency Operations who understood the nature of the problem the ROK/US Alliance will face if and when the regime does collapse).

Here are links to a few papers I have worked on on the subject.  And again none of the real planners ever predicted when the regime would collapse.

Catastrophic Collapse of North Korea (1996)

Beyond the Nuclear Crisis: A Strategy for the Korean Peninsula
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Should The United States Support Korean Unification And If So, How? (2014)

And this 2006 Atlantic article by Robert Kaplan:   When North Korea Falls  (He interviews Robert Collins and gives an overview of the Seven Phases of Collapse which is the seminal work on understanding how the regime might collapse and the indications and warnings that will give us an idea of failure of the regime)

​But I would have to say that Mr. Metzl's conclusion here will only be good news and "a win-win for nearly everyone" if the ROK/US Alliance conducts the necessary preparations as well as planning for this very real potential reality.

The good news is that this collapse has the potential to be a win-win for nearly everyone. The North Korean people will end their terrible suffering, North and South Korea will be reunified under South Korean law, potentially following a UN-administered transitional period and referendum, the specter of a rogue nuclear nation at the heart of Asia will be removed, and China will gain a valuable trading partner in a unified Korea and access to Seoul’s high tech economy and northern Korea’s natural resources through high quality rail, road, and communications links. American troops could even be maintained below the 38th parallel to ease China’s fears of encirclement, with the long-term international relations of a unified Korea being up to the Korean people.
North Korea is a historical relic, destabilizing force, and human rights abomination. The Korean people and the world will be far better off without it.

Doomsday: The Coming Collapse of North Korea

Those predicting North Korea's imminent collapse have continually been proven wrong. But today, the North Korean madness may well be nearing its endgame.
June 14, 2015
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As a member of the U.S. National Security Council staff in the later 1990s, I worked with colleagues on plans for responding to the potential collapse of the North Korean government. As a self-induced famine ravaged the country, we considered what we might do when the regime finally succumbed to the inevitable consequence of its own insanity. Almost twenty years later, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is still there and those predicting its imminent collapse have continually been proven wrong. But today, the North Korean madness may well be nearing its endgame. I predict it will be gone within a decade.
The continued survival of North Korea’s government is based on its ability to harness absolute terror against its population, its possession of nuclear weapons, and its access to economic resources. Although North Korea requires all three of these to survive, contradictions between what it takes to secure each will make the regime’s demise all but inevitable over time.
(Continued at the link below)

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