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The Korean Peninsula Forum – The Challenges of North Korean Instability

October 26, 2016

Thursday, November 10th, 5:30 – 8:30 PM


In many ways, the North Korean regime is unstable. Its people suffer from poverty and starvation, while the regime is embarrassed by its inferiority to its South Korean neighbor in terms of economics, international relations, and even conventional military power. The North Korea leader, Kim Jong-un, maintains control through extensive indoctrination, horrendous human rights violations, and brutal purges, including ongoing purges of his senior elites. Rather than invest in improving North Korean lives, Kim pursues nuclear weapon developments to prove his empowerment and deter external action against his regime. These and other conditions may be leading to “sudden change” in North Korea that could take various forms from North Korean government collapse to war. The growth in the North Korean nuclear weapon threat and the potential for Chinese and other third-party intervention could significantly complicate such developments. Next year, the new US Administration must abandon the failed policy toward North Korea of “strategic patience” and take more decisive action with its South Korean ally against North Korea or face potentially catastrophic consequences.

Bruce W. BennettBruce W. Bennett is a senior defense analyst at The RAND Corporation. He is an expert in Northeast Asian military issues, having visited the region over 100 times and written much about Korean security issues. His research has addressed issues such as the North Korean WMD threats (nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons) and how to deter/counter them (especially with WMD elimination), future Korean military force requirements, the Korean military balance, potential Chinese military intervention in North Korea, and Korean unification, including managing a North Korean government collapse. Dr. Bennett received a Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School and a B.S. in economics from the California Institute of Technology.


Bruce W. Bennett


Donald Hellmann


David Bachman
Clark Sorensen
Kenneth Pyle
Yong-chool Ha

5:30 – 6:30 PM


6:30 – 7:30 PM

Bruce W. Bennett Talk

7:30 – 8:30 PM

Panel discussion and Q&A session

FOR MORE INFORMATION , please call 206-543-4873, email or visit

To request disability accommodations, contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance of the event:

543-6450 (voice); 543-6452 (TDD); 685-7264 (fax);