North Koreas endgame: Peaceful two-state solution or coercive unification?

Matthias Maass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose-Much of the debate on North Korea assumes that Pyongyang would be truly satisfied with the overall status quo if it were only safe and secure enough. The purpose here is to argue that Pyongyang may instead be looking for reunification from a position of strength. Method-The short paper is built mostly on secondary-source research. It uses short historical case studies in addition to professional writings, both academic and journalistic. Findings-overall, the argument is that Pyongyang has never abandoned the goal of unifying the peninsula under its own leadership. In fact, its endgame is a DPRK that spans the entire peninsula and unites the entire Korean people. Implications-To go forward and work with a nuclear North Korea towards a mutually agreeable long-term arrangement on the peninsula, understanding the long-term goals of Kim Jong Un is critical. The argument presented here may instill more caution in negotiation partners and statesmen/-women, especially in Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo, but also in Beijing and Moscow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalNorth Korean Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, McFarland and Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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