The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future

Author(s): Victor Cha


Much discussed and often maligned, precious little is known or understood about North Korea, the world's most controversial and isolated country. 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. "The Impossible State" 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; all in the light of the destabilizing effects of Kim Jong-il's recent death. This enigmatic nation-state has continued to survive despite regularly violating 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. This is the story of a land facing a pivotal and disquieting transition of power from tyrannical father to inexperienced son. Cha 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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The definitive account of North Korea, its veiled past and uncertain future

""The Impossible State" is provocative, frightening, and never more relevant than today as an untested new leader takes charge of the world's most unpredictable nuclear power."--Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Victor Cha is the former Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. He was the U.S. Deputy Head of Delegation for the Six Party Talks, concerned with security risks posed by the North Korean weapons programme. During his role as adviser to the White House he spent time in Pyongyang, and is in a unique position to comment on North Korean affairs. He is currently Professor of Government and Asian Studies and Director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University.

General Fields

  • : 9781847922366
  • : Vintage
  • : The Bodley Head Ltd
  • : August 2012
  • : 234mm X 153mm X 38mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : August 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Victor Cha
  • : Paperback
  • : 612
  • : 951.93
  • : 544