RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 813930740 LA English T1 The real North Korea : life and politics in the failed Stalinist utopia A1 Lanʹkov, A. N., YR 2013 SN 9780199964291 0199964297 AB After providing an accessible history of the nation, the author turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place, arguing that North Korea is not irrational, but rather a nation that has survived against all odds. In this work the author substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque state. After providing an accessible history of the nation, he turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks, and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and impoverished place. He argues that North Korea is not irrational, and nothing shows this better than its continuing survival against all odds. A living political fossil, it clings to existence in the face of limited resources and a zombie economy, manipulating great powers despite its weakness. Its leaders are not ideological zealots or madmen, but perhaps the best practitioners of Machiavellian politics that can be found in the modern world. Even though they preside over a failed state, they have successfully used diplomacy, including nuclear threats, to extract support from other nations. But while the people in charge have been ruthless and successful in holding on to power, the author contends that this cannot continue forever. The old system is slowly falling apart, and in the long run the regime is unsustainable, with or without reform. Indeed, reforms, if attempted, will most likely trigger a dramatic implosion of the regime. They will not prolong its existence. Based on the author's expertise, this book reveals how average North Koreans live, how their leaders rule, and how both survive. --Book jacket.