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Rationality in the North Korean Regime


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Korean War: Rational but Failed War of Reunification 2. The Second Korean War: Mix of Rational and Irrational Choices 3. The 1976 Ax Murders: Rational Miscalculation at Panmunjom 4. Export of Terror in the 1980s: Redux of Rational and Irrational Choices 5. The Arduous March during the 1990s: Rational Use of Diplomacy 6. The Era of Axis of Evil: Rational Use of Nuclear Threats and Diplomacy 7. The Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island Attacks: The Rational Use of Force 8. The New Byungjin Line: Nuclear ICBM-First Politics 9. Limited War of Legitimacy: August 2015 Landmine Incident Conclusion: Comparative Assessment of Kims' Rationality and Policy Implications

About the Author

David W. Shin is associate professor at the National Intelligence University (NIU) in Bethesda, Maryland.


This is a timely and interesting study of 'rationality' of North Korean leadership. Innovative in analytical construct, excellent in selection of cases, rigorous in empirical analysis, and rich in policy implications. Strongly recommended for those who are interested in North Korea and international relations of Northeast Asia. -- Chung-in Moon, Distinguished University Professor, Yonsei University

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