In a recent article in Foreign Affairs magazine, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Joonbum Bae and his coauthor analyze the potential humanitarian fallout — and how to mitigate it — in the event of the collapse of the North Korean regime.
The article, “Preventing a Post-Collapse Crisis in North Korea: How to Avoid Famine and Mass Migration,” notes that if “the regime of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was to collapse, whether from internal problems or external force, one of the most pressing problems facing the United States, China, and South Korea — as well as one of the most promising avenues for cooperation — would be how to respond to the resulting humanitarian crisis.”
Such a crisis would “likely exacerbate the chronic food shortages North Koreans have endured for 25 years and worsen the country’s problems with infectious disease and public health. This would in turn provoke mass population movements from North Korea into China,” argue Bae and his coauthor, Andrew Natsios of Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service and Director of its Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs.
Bae, who joined the HWS faculty in 2017, holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University. He has received fellowships and grants from the George Bush Presidential Library, Institute on Global Conﬂict and Cooperation and the George C. Marshall Foundation, among other organizations. His research focuses on international security, authoritarian stability, East Asia and the Koreas.