The stated aim of this book is “to gain a better understanding of Kim Jong-un as a leader by explaining his survival strategy” (p. 1). In Kim Jong-un's Strategy for Survival, David W. Shin focuses on the foreign policy motivations and actions of Kim Jong-un since he became leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, commonly known as North Korea), in 2011.

There is a gap in the literature for a serious analytical study of North Korea's strategic principles, policies, constraints, and opportunities. We have yet to see a professionally conducted, sustained piece of scholarly analysis of North Korea's international relations utilizing the various approaches available to strategic studies scholars—whether this be Clausewitzian or constructivist, Foucauldian or feminist. This book does not, however, engage with the rich field of strategic studies and does not use the heuristic concept of the state to provide analytical focus. Instead, it...

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