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Kim Jong-un’s Strategy for Survival: A Method to Madness

From the publisher’s website:

In Kim Jong-un’s Strategy for Survival, David W. Shin contends that Kim Jong-un’s consolidation of power at home and the leveraging of Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, and Washington, and others abroad show that he is not a madman and, like the two earlier Kims, has consistently been underestimated. Shin presents an alternative framework for Kim Jong-un’s behavior through his analysis of Kim’s background and his development as the successor to his father, Kim Jong-il; the evolution of the totalitarian system Kim inherited from his grandfather, Kim Il-sung; and the security environment after Kim Jong-il’s death in 2011. This book is recommended for scholars and students of political science, Asian studies, international relations, and history.

David W. Shin is associate professor and deputy department chair in the Regional Security Issues Department at the National Intelligence University.


  1. Madness, Brinkmanship, and Madman Theory
  2. The Ambitious Third Son as Natural Heir to His Grandfather
  3. North Korea’s Totalitarianism: Balancing Terror with Co-option
  4. Kim Jong-Un’s Understanding of the Security Environment in 2012
  5. New Byungjin Line and Kim Jong-Un’s Successful Nuclear ICBM Gambit
  6. August 2015 Landmine Incident: Limited War of Legitimacy
  7. Nuclear Crisis in 2017 with a “Madman” and Perfecting Kim’s Nuclear ICBMs
  8. Kim Jong-un’s Charm Offensive and Diplomatic Stalemate with the U.S.

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* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.