The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future

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9780061998515: The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future

Much discussed and often maligned, precious little is known or understood about North Korea, the world's most controversial and isolated country. In "The Impossible State" Victor Cha pulls back the curtain, providing an unprecedented insight into North Korea's history, the rise of the Kim family dynasty, and the obsessive personality cult that surrounds them. He illuminates the repressive regime's complex economy and culture, its appalling record of human-rights abuses, its belligerent relationship with its neighbours and the United States, and analyzes the regime's major security issues - from the seemingly endless war with its southern counterpart to its terrifying nuclear ambitions - all in the light of the destabilizing effects of Kim Jong-il's recent death. How has this enigmatic nation-state continued to survive when it regularly violates its own citizens' inalienable rights and has suffered severe famine, global economic sanctions, a collapsed economy, and near-total isolation from the rest of the world? Cha reveals a land 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 leadership. With rare personal anecdotes from the author's time in Pyongyang and his tenure as a White House adviser, this engagingly written, authoritative, and highly accessible account 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 the Western world may be woefully unprepared.

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‘We killed Americans.

We are killing Americans.

We will kill Americans.’

North Korean schoolchildren conjugating verbs

In North Korea, citizens found humming South Korean pop songs risk being sent to a gulag for six months of hard labour. Jail sentences are handed out if portraits of the late Kim Jong-il are not properly dusted. Shoot-to-kill orders are in effect for anyone caught trying to cross the Yalu or Tumen Rivers into China.

Yet despite this, an oppressed, starving populace clings fiercely to its new Dear Leader, Kim Jong-un, and signs with the revolutionary slogan WE HAVE NOTHING TO ENVY line the streets of Pyongyang.

So how did North Korea become this Impossible State? What does the future hold for a regime with terrifying nuclear ambitions and a seemingly endless war with its southern counterpart? Former White House adviser Victor Cha pulls back the curtain on the world’s most isolated country to provide an unprecedented and timely insight into North Korea’s history, present and future.

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Former White House official Victor Cha has written the definitive volume on North Korea, arguably the world's most menacing and mysterious nation. In The Impossible State, Cha, a singular expert on the region, exposes North Korea's veiled past; sheds light on its culture, economy, and foreign policy; and explores the possibilities of its uncertain future in the post-Kim Jong-il era. A timely and engaging insider's look at a volatile, and isolationist Asian juggernaut, The Impossible State will carry readers far deeper into this frighteningly adversarial country than they've ever traveled before.

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Former White House official Victor Cha has written the definitive volume on North Korea, arguably the world s most menacing and mysterious nation. In The Impossible State, Cha, a singular expert on the region, exposes North Korea s veiled past; sheds light on its culture, economy, and foreign policy; and explores the possibilities of its uncertain future in the post-Kim Jong-il era. A timely and engaging insider s look at a volatile, and isolationist Asian juggernaut, The Impossible State will carry readers far deeper into this frighteningly adversarial country than they ve ever traveled before. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780061998515

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Former White House official Victor Cha has written the definitive volume on North Korea, arguably the world s most menacing and mysterious nation. In The Impossible State, Cha, a singular expert on the region, exposes North Korea s veiled past; sheds light on its culture, economy, and foreign policy; and explores the possibilities of its uncertain future in the post-Kim Jong-il era. A timely and engaging insider s look at a volatile, and isolationist Asian juggernaut, The Impossible State will carry readers far deeper into this frighteningly adversarial country than they ve ever traveled before. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780061998515

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