North Korean Identity as a Challenge to East Asia’s Regional Order

  • Leif-Eric EasleyEmail author
Part of the Asia Today book series (ASIAT)


How has North Korea challenged regional order in East Asia, at times driving some actors apart and others together? These trends are explained by and reflected in North Korean national identity, detailed in this chapter’s study of North Korean political history, institutions, and diplomacy. Even under the heavy influence of the Kim regime, North Korean national identity is not monolithic, either in its projection from Pyongyang or in the perception of international observers. The findings of this chapter advise against writing off North Korea as a bad actor doomed to collapse or caricaturizing it as a subject in need of “sunshine” or as a member of an “evil” axis. The open question is whether and how North Korea can coexist with Asia’s changing regional order.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of International StudiesEwha Womans UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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