Defiant Failed State


Defiant Failed State

The North Korean Threat to International Security

Bruce E. Bechtol, Jr.

288 pages


October 2010


$32.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

September 2011


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About the Book

Since the 1990s, the American government has under prioritized the North Korean threat to global security, according to Bruce Bechtol, an associate professor of political science at Angelo State University. Because North Korea appears economically weak and politically unstable, it is therefore often categorized as a state on the brink of collapse, or a failed state. But Bechtol makes a convincing case that North Korea is more complex and menacing than it how it has often been characterized.Defiant Failed State shows how the North Korean government has adapted to the post–Cold War environment and poses a multifaceted danger to U.S. national security and that of its allies. Bechtol analyzes North Korea’s military capabilities, nuclear program, proliferation, and leadership succession to mine the answers to important questions such as, is North Korea a failing or failed state? Is it capable of surviving indefinitely? Why and how does it present such risk to Asia and the United States and its allies?This book sheds new light on the nature of the North Korean threat and the key foreign policy issues that remain unresolved between the United States and South Korea. It is essential reading for scholars, policymakers, military strategists, functional and regional specialists, and anyone who is interested in East Asian affairs.

Author Bio

BRUCE E. BECHTOL JR. is an associate professor of political science at Angelo State University. Formerly a senior intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, he is currently on the editorial advisory board of the Korea Observer. He also serves as the president of the International Council on Korean Studies and sits on the board of directors of the Council on U.S.-Korean Security Studies. His most recent book is Defiant Failed State: The North Korean Threat to International Security (Potomac Books, 2010). He lives in San Angelo, Texas.


"This impressive work merits consideration by large public libraries and most academic libraries. Recommended. All readership levels."—Choice

“To the surprise of many, North Korea still exists in spite of many policy failures. As Bruce Bechtol deftly details in his Defiant Failed State, North Korea has exercised its limited powers skillfully, in the process exposing the powerlessness of other states. As he also clearly explains, the end of the Kim Jong-Il regime may bring new surprises, ones for which the international community is seriously unprepared.”—Richard C. Bush, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

“This book is a strong tonic for much of the current thinking that sees North Korea as either a rogue or failed state. Dr. Bechtol effectively argues that it is both, meaning that policy makers face a much more complex dilemma when dealing with the DPRK. Fortunately, Dr. Bechtol also delineates a number of useful ways to break the dilemma. This is a very important read.”—Dr. Paul R. Kan, Associate Professor of National Security Studies, US Army War College

“Bechtol once again provides great insight into the ‘crime family cult regime’ leading North Korea and the tremendous issues facing the United States and Republic of Korea alliance. The nuclear issue is but one of the major challenges and threats the alliance must resolve and Bechtol lays it out clearly."—Gen. John H. Tilelli, USA (Ret), Former CINC UNC, CFC, USFK

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