The Annuals of Japanese Political Science Association
Online ISSN : 1884-3921
Print ISSN : 0549-4192
ISSN-L : 0549-4192
Civil-Military Relations in the D. P. R. K.
Why haven't a group of officers in the Korean People's Army yet made a coup?
Satoru Miyamoto
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2005 Volume 56 Issue 2 Pages 195-215,253


For a long time, a majority of people have thought that the military would attempt a coup d'etat in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea due to the widespread economic deterioration in the past, and the fact that the domestic economy has seen some recent improvement makes this event more unlikely at present.
Why haven't a group of officers within the Korean People's Army attempted a coup d'etat? In this research, I provide three key reasons that explain why, even during three crisis periods involving major politico-military purges, this has not happened.
Chiefly these were: entrenched clique competition in the military; the existence of an organization that can oppose the armed forces; and a systemic and purposeful division of the military. I have confirmed through this research that the system that has divided the military still exists in the army, a system controlled effectively by a senior commissar. Therefore, this research concludes that the possibility of a coup d'etat occurring is low even in the present D. P. R. K.

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