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Changes to the National Strategy of the Kim Jong-un Regime and the Limitations of the Strategy of Self-Reliance

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Author Cho, Han-Bum
Publish Date / Page 2021-03-12 / 12 p.
Series No. CO 21-08(E)
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When categorized by significant changes to its national strategy, phase 1 of the Kim Jong-un regime from 2011 to 2017 can be defined as the period where it focused on consolidating its ruling base and developing nuclear and missile technologies. Phase 2 from 2018 to 2020 was a period during which the regime defined economic development as the primary objective and sought to improve relations with South Korea and the U.S. through summit diplomacy. The policy of self-reliance adopted at the 8th Party Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in January 2021 represents partial changes to the previous strategy in response to the failure in achieving the goals set during phase 2, and thus can be viewed as phase 2.5 beginning in 2021. The problem is that the policy of self-reliance alone is insufficient for the overall governance of phase 2.5, and that it will not accomplish the goals of the new five-year national economic development plan.