A new book offers useful insights into the North Korean mindset, but it overlooks the regime's durability and the reformist bent of its new leader, Kim Jong-un. The regime is here to stay, and the United States should pursue more peaceful relations.
Kim Jong Un is likely to continue his father's policies, keeping the country what it is now -- a nuclear-armed dictatorship in abject poverty -- until it can no longer sustain itself.
By exposing them to the truth about their impoverishment and about the prosperity of their South Korean cousins, the United States can encourage North Koreans to change the regime in Pyongyang.
Despite international calls for reform, the North Korean government is doing its best to maintain the domestic status quo -- and with good reason, at least from its perspective. Still, change is coming in very slow motion thanks to international aid and illegal exchanges with the outside world, which are eroding Pyongyang's legitimacy.