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East Asia's Other MiracleExplaining the Decline of Mass Atrocities$
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Alex J. Bellamy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777939

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777939.001.0001

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The “Impossible State”

The “Impossible State”

North Korea

Chapter:
(p.213) 7 The “Impossible State”
Source:
East Asia's Other Miracle
Author(s):

Alex J. Bellamy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198777939.003.0008

This is the first of two chapters to examine states that have bucked the regional trend. North Korea stands out as the only state in East Asia that continues to employ mass atrocities as a matter of state policy. This chapter explains why the forces that promoted peace in other parts of the region (state consolidation and responsibility, the developmental trading state, habits of multilateralism, and power politics) failed to achieve the same effects in these two countries. It then looks at the contemporary situation to ascertain the prospects for reform and the likelihood of future reductions in the incidence of mass atrocities. It finds that the state relies on mass coercion to maintain itself in power and that there is little prospect of imminent reform, whilst state collapse remains a viable possibility that could precipitate mass atrocities on a massive scale.

Keywords:   North Korea, communism, Korean War, human rights, nuclear

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