March 30, 2022

Dear Colleague:

We are pleased to share with you a video record capturing the discourse with Kuk Song Kim below.

Thank you.


* Kuk Song Kim answered to each of all submitted questions
and Mary Yang is credited for translation

1. To what extent does the suryong - currently Kim Jong Un - rule individually, and to what extent are his close circle and participants around him in policy-making?

North Korea's governance system is a ‘one-man dictatorship’ by the suryong(leader), and everything, even road construction, is decided and carried out only with the approval of the ruler. Even the closest aides do not have the slightest autonomy and proceed and operate under the strict approval of the ruler. North Korea calls this a leader-centered, political and ideological unity.

2. How closely has North Korea worked with China, in developing strategies and tactics for dealing with the US? Can you give us a specific example or two?

North Korea and China share a pure blood alliance between Kim Il-sung and Mao Zedong. Both countries are based on a political topographical strategic relationship that puts national interests first, but it is not a suzerainty relationship. However, North Korea is clearly using this alliance to maintain the one-man dictatorship system. To give one example in the military field, by giving up an island in the East Sea of China, North Korea has been guaranteed very favorable conditions for battle, such as maintenance and oil replenishment necessary for the navigation of North Korean battleships, for a long period of time.

3. What are North Korea’s strategies related to human rights?

In North Korea, the words ‘freedom’ and ‘human rights’ are banned words. North Korea prioritizes thorough blocking of external information and indoctrinates absolute loyalty to the leader. It also neutralizes people's conscience through ideological education based on North Korean socialist superiority. By doing this, people have a deformed sense of thinking, by which they do not know the world and can only live by being faithful to the leader.

4. Does Kim Jong-un ultimately want international recognition as a de facto nuclear state?

The goal that Kim Jong-un has pursued so far is to gain international recognition as a nuclear power. However, after a failed meeting with President Trump, Kim Jong-un has instead insisted on the theory of self-reliance, that only by possessing a stronger nuclear deterrence can NK become a nuclear power, whether or not recognized by the international community, including the United States.

5. For some, the recent (January 2022-present) DPRK missile launches appear to be a departure from the road to reconciliation. Others, however, believe the opposite - that DPRK is seeking to gain “face” and leverage in order to have dialog in the next few months. What is your assessment?

There is no such thing as denuclearization of North Korea. Possessing a super-strong nuclear deterrence is Kim Jong-un's unchanging revolutionary principle. There is no trade-off for denuclearization, no matter what kind of a lucky bag is offered. This is because denuclearization means the end of the NK hereditary system.

6. North Korea is known for hacking abilities, but what is your assessment of North Korea’s potential for technological development? Eg., robotics, driverless cars, Virtual Reality, crypto currency, etc.

North Korea's level of hacking capabilities is considered to be in the top 3 in the world. North Korea, which has been interested in cyber-terrorism since the early 1980s, opened Moranbong University under the 414 Liaison Office of the Workers' Party of Korea and has trained talented people from all over the country as cyber agents. Today, their level is world-class, with about 2300 people. Other sectors are still weak.

7. What is the most effective way to bring pressure to the North Korean regime to curtail their nuclear activities and continuous human rights violations?

As you know, the United Nations and the international community have imposed various sanctions and pressures on North Korea for a long time to prevent the North Korean regime from acting abnormally. However, nothing has changed, and the development of nuclear force and the violations of human rights based on it are increasing day by day. Rather than the previously failed diplomatic strategies, what is needed for the destruction of the Kim Jong-un regime is a state-of-the-art means. Sanctions and pressure will never deter North Korea's reckless behavior, but rather strengthen it.

8. What do you think Kim's ultimate strategic goal in the Korean Peninsula?

Kim Jong-un’s ultimate strategic goal is the Korean Peninsula’s red-colored unification based on South Korea’s political subjugation to North Korea.

9. What do you think is Biden's current NK policy?

Biden administration’s NK policy ultimately has been no different from the previous administrations. While good-diplomatic strategy is important, counter-measure strategy for failure is more important, and diplomacy must be practiced based on the latter not former. The current NK policy is merely a repetition of the previously failed NK policy, and it is basically falling into Kim Jong-un’s strategy.

The more time Kim Jong-un gets, he would likely grow delusional akin to that of Putin. There is an old saying in North Korea, “For a crazy dog, a beating stick is the best fit.” Before the danger grows further, I believe it is necessary to employ a unique and state-of-art technological military strategy. Although this idea is certainly not congruent to the US’s love for peace and opposition to war, I believe that preventing bigger disaster should be choice for good and a decision for the better. We must not forget the nuclear alliance between China, Russia, and North Korea. Kim Jong-un is the happiest and the most benefiting person observing the current Ukraine crisis. The core to that idea is that there is a lack of clear existence of the US military power. Gaining a hundred from one shall be the most beneficial strategy for the US for the current time. As I feel limited to explain this in writing, I would be ready to talk about this with the US’s strategic planners and I can surely become their eyes, ears, and the brain to assist in that.

10. Any words for the Biden team in dealing with the NK's nuke and missile programmes?

North Korea’s US strategy is a “taming the US strategy” based on its growing nuclear force, and the current Biden administration’s NK diplomacy strategy can never achieve denuclearization of NK but would rather reinforce their nuclear deterrence based on technological development in their nuclear force.

The North Korea’s nuclear force is the Excalibur that guarantees Kim Jong-un’s future and the hereditary system, and it is his means of survival. Therefore, if one expects any change from him by giving him some pieces of gold, it is as naïve as waiting for the star to fall from the sky.

Therefore, I may suggest to Biden administration, as the current NK policy of the US cannot induce change in NK’s inter/outer nation strategy, that it is necessary to employ a NK strategy that may be opposite to that from the past.

A wide and strong range of sanctions as well as a “tweezer-like” strategy shall be the most appropriate, reasonable, and practical strategy against North Korea.

Because North Korea is the only dictatorship nation in the world with its unique and barbaric ways, the North Korea strategy based on the American’s way of capitalistic view shall only make failures a hundred times out of a hundred times.

(More to come.)

This page last updated May 6, 2022 rmj