North Korea's Looming Collapse In One Statistic

North korea kim jong unREUTERS/KCNANorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun to pay tribute to late North Korean leaders, his grandfather Kim Il-sung and father Kim Jong-il, on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on October 10, 2013.

The punch-drunk North Korea is standing on wobbly legs, and America really doesn’t want to be ill-prepared for its fall.

That’s why Dr. Bruce W. Bennett, a resident North Korea security expert at Rand Corp., presented a brief to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Wednesday about how Washington and Seoul should prepare for and mitigate such a collapse.

Of course there are many scary results of Kim Jong Un’s fall, what’s scarier though is the two paragraphs Bennett wrote to illustrate just how close we are to such an outcome (emphasis ours):

Since his assumption of the top position on the death of his father in December 2011, Kim Jong-un has carried out a series of purges, the most notable of which has been the recent purge and execution of his uncle, Jang Song-thaek.

Given that Kim Jong-un in two years has turned over the North Korean military leadership as many times as his father did in 17 years, there is now more concern that Kim Jong-un could become the target of an assassination or coup by senior military personnel. Many of these personnel already likely fear for their future and the future of their families, given North Korean brutality.

Indeed, the Kim regime even indicated that Jang’s execution was as a result of a possible coup. The other general are probably concerned, and Bennett goes so far as to say that regular competition at the Army elite level may be dividing into factions.

Kim’s father was no stranger to executions. Nor was he to over-the top celebrations. Yet, Kim’s bizarre cocktail of celebrity visits, threats, celebrations, executions and PR stunts has strayed painfully outside of the normal, run of the mill North Korean crazy.

Certainly at the least it has lead leaders and analysts like Bennett to more routinely question the longevity of the nation.

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