By Fareed Zakaria
In Washington, there is a conventional wisdom on North Korea that spans both parties and much of elite opinion. It goes roughly like this: “North Korea is the world’s most bizarre country, run by a crackpot dictator with a strange haircut. He is unpredictable and irrational and cannot be negotiated with. Eventually this weird and cruel regime will collapse. Meanwhile, the only solution is more and more pressure.”
But what if the conventional wisdom is wrong?
The North Korean regime has survived for almost seven decades, preserving not just its basic form of government but also its family dynasty — father to son to grandson. It has persisted through the fall of the Soviet Union and its communist satellites, the Orange Revolution, the Arab Spring and the demise of other Asian dictatorships, from South Korea to Taiwan to Indonesia.