Council Special Report Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea Teaching Notes By Paul B.

Stares General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention; Director, Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations; Author, Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea

The Council Special Report, Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea, addresses the foreign policy challenge of how the United States and its allies can prepare for the possibility that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il’s illness becomes the source of sudden and destabilizing change in North Korea. The report identifies three potential succession scenarios: managed succession, in which the top leadership transitions smoothly; contested succession, in which government officials and factions vie for power after Kim’s demise; and failed succession, in which a new government is unable to achieve legitimacy, possibly resulting in the collapse of North Korea. Specific policy recommendations are provided as to how the United States can improve its ability to manage whichever succession scenario occurs. These recommendations include enhancing U.S. readiness, promoting allied coordination and preparedness, and fostering regional transparency and capacity-building.

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How does U. Identify the interests of North Korea. What would you expect the preferred outcome to be for each country? . policy toward North Korea depending on which succession scenario transpires? Courses on Comparative and East Asian Politics 1. In what way would you expect the imminent regime change in North Korea to affect interstate relations between North Korea.S. Discussion Questions Courses on U. and China? 2. Foreign Policy and International Affairs 1. What should be U. foreign policy and international affairs Comparative and East Asian politics Regime change.This report is suitable for the following types of courses: • • • • U. South Korea. both generally and toward East Asia specifically. How would you characterize current U. and China in terms of North Korea’s regime change. and formal analysis. Japan. Under which school of thought does the Obama administration’s foreign policy strategy appear to fall? 4. South Korea. and humanitarian operations National and nuclear security These teaching notes discuss questions and suggestions for further projects. Japan.S. which may be useful for students in any of the courses above. appear to be changing under the Obama administration? 3. failed states.S. and China respectively? 2. foreign policy toward North Korea. including class debates. Japan. foreign policy. How would each of the potential succession scenarios affect relations between East Asia countries differently? 3.S.S. South Korea. memoranda to the president.

in particular nuclear material.4. should the United States intervene in humanitarian operations in North Korea? Is this influenced by moral obligation. What are some of the problems that potentially could arise during the process of regime change in North Korea? 4. What can the United States do prior to regime change in North Korea to maximize the potential of securing U. international law. In the event of a failed North Korea.S. and Humanitarian Operations 1.S. in the Korean Peninsula? .S. Identify the primary U. how should U. Under what circumstances.S. national security priorities. national security strategy adapt? 3. if any. to allocate aspects of securing North Korean weapons and nuclear material to other states such as China? 4. and/or U. 2. national security. in terms of U. national security? 3. national security concerns regarding North Korea. Failed States. To what extent would it be safe. To whom should the obligation of humanitarian intervention fall in the event that it becomes necessary? China? South Korea? The United States? The UN? 2. What are some of the characteristics of a failed state? What events could increase the possibility of North Korea becoming a failed state? At what point could North Korea be described as a failed state? Courses on National and Nuclear Security 1.S. What is your perceived potential for cooperation between the United States and East Asia in preparing for regime change scenarios in North Korea? Courses on Regime Change.

but express sophisticated. The United States must secure nuclear material located in North Korea. It is important for the United States to cooperate with China on preparing for change in North Korea. helping prevent students from choosing topics too broad or sprawling to form a good op-ed. The assignments should be evaluated based on the relevance of the topic selected. for example: • • • • Preparing for change in North Korea should be a top foreign policy priority. These guidelines will help in focusing the argument. Op-eds Assign students to write an op-ed on some aspect of U. . and recommend the best course of action. The United States should engage in humanitarian operations in North Korea in the event of a contested or failed succession scenario. present the policy options with pros and cons of each. regardless of other policy disagreements. Memorandum to the President Assign students to write a memorandum to the president on possible courses of action in the event that Kim Jong-Il suddenly dies and a contested succession emerges in North Korea. even if it must do so unilaterally. so it is important that the main point be clearly expressed within the first or second paragraph. well-thought out arguments.S. foreign policy toward East Asia.Further Projects Debate Divide students into small teams and organize a debate on some of the issues raised in the report. The memorandum should give a very brief overview of the situation. The writing style should be terse and persuasive. An op-ed is short. and the clarity and brevity with which the author presents a specific point of view.

Thompson. September 26. Cha. Vol. October 2. and Nicholas Eberstadt. Michael. No. May 21. Glaser.. .-ROK-PRC Coordination on North Korea” PacNet No. DC: Johns Hopkins University Press). 2008. 48. II. Drew. “International Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance: A Future Role for the PLA.” Wall Street Journal.” KBS Global. 2008. “What Now? The Case for U. Victor. September 11. “South Korea Must Engage in Multilateral Planning for North Korea’s Collapse.” China Brief. Robert S. 2007 (Washington. “The World Shouldn’t Fear the Collapse of North Korea.S. 2008. 8. Litwak. Center for Strategic and International Studies. John R. “Keeping an Eye on an Unruly Neighbor: Chinese Views of Economic Reform and Stability in North Korea. Scott Snyder. Pacific Forum. Bonnie. United States Institute of Peace.S. Park. Strategy through the Prism of 9/11. January 2008. Finnegan. 2008.Supplementary Materials Bolton. and John S. Regime Change: U.” Working Paper.