Open assessment on an emergency plan for North Korea

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Open assessment on an emergency plan for North Korea explores ways to launch an international crisis program when North Korea collapses. Actions should be concerted, international, and quick, to minimise further damage after the collapse of the state governance.



What are the international actions that should be taken to minimise further damage after the North Korean governance collapses? What are the likely critical societal functions that stop working, and how these can be ensured by foreign actions during the crisis?


  • Temporal: The governance in North Korea is based on strict state control over all major activities, including media. However, the system is unsustainable, and a crisis related to politics, economy, agriculture, or citizen awareness will sooner or later spread to the state functions at large, and the state will collapse within days or weeks. This assessment evaluates actions from the beginning of the crisis up to two years from the beginnig, the main focus being on the first three months.
  • Spatial: The actions and actors considered are anywhere in the world. The ultimate target is of course North Korea, but for example actions to raise global awareness are targeted elsewhere, with only secondary or even tertiary effects on North Korea.
  • Actors: No limitations. Governmental actions are considered, but non-governmental as well.


No scenarios defined. The collapse of North Korea is not considered a scenario but an inevitable or hardly evitabe event, i.e.the best estimate of the future.


As an open assessment, it is open to anyone. Especially, both governmental and non-governmental organisations are welcome to participate.

North Koreans themselves would be extremely welcome, but there are probably unbearable problems for that. Therefore, the assessment must be organised in such a way that it can be performed by outsiders.

Intended users

  • Governments around the world.
  • Non-governmental organisations around the world.
  • Parties that are immediately affected by the events, such as South Koreans.


Decision variables

This section contains all possible actions (each described as decision variable) that someone could do to help North Korea in the crisis. The purpose of the other variables is to evaluate the outcomes of these potential actions. Based on the outcome evaluations, the actions are or are not recommended. In addition, priorities among actions are seeked for.

  • Emergency food aid: food is brought from abroad and distributed to citizens for free. This is done for the first months until the own food production is back to normal (or bearable). The estimated need is 50 kg of rice, 10 l of oil, and 10 kg of meat or poultry per person. This decision (i.e., the amounts) should be optimised against outcome indicators.
  • Agricultural infrastructure program: In the crisis, the ownership continuity and current facilities for agriculture collapse. These must be reorganised quickly to prevent the loss of the next harvest.
  • Industual infrastructure program: North Korea is the opposite of a country integrated in the world economy. The whole industrial infrastructure must be built from scratch, because everything there is, is probably useless. This requires both foreign capital, and foreign engineering. However, to prevent future crises, it is absolutely crucial that the industrial infrastructure is built in a fair way, and that the decision-making capacity and integrity is maintained in North Korea.
  • National self esteem program: The citizens of North Korea will learn that everything they have heard about the world during the last decades is just lies. This is a massive psychological problem and is likely to lead to both extreme actions such as violence, and apathy. Therefore, an active program is needed to develop the self esteem of the nation. The cultural achievents (dance, music) should be kept in value and separated from those people that used the culture to emphasise themselves and hide problems. Cultural achievents are great achievements even if they were motivated by false reasons.
  • International exchange program: North Koreans have extremely little true knowledge about the outside world. A student program should be launched to make possibilities for North Koreans go abroad and see for themselves. Also foreign students should be encouraged to go to North Korea (and reasons should be developed for them to do so!).

Other variables


  • Agricultural production in North Korea.
  • Industiral production in North Korea.
  • Life expectancy in North Korea.
  • Unemployment rate in North Korea.
  • International happiness indicator in North Korea (or similar).




Not yet available.

See also