• Post made for three hours last night (9pm-12am EST) have been deleted. This was necessary due to some problems with server maintenance. Anyone who had problems logging into their account during this time should be fine now.

AHC: Most successful North Korea possible?

In this alternate history challenge lets discuss on what change needed in history so that North Korea can be as successful as possible.

The point of divergent is 1948 after North Korea is created.

North korea have to still be a “communist” country whether it be modern Chinese style or if you think minor change to totalitarian dictatorship can be made that result in functioning country that is fine as well, but lets say going full democracy is not allow.

So what change need to be made so that North Korea is as successful as possible? As in comparable or more powerful economy to it Southern counter part (same for military).

Being Nuclear power is optional.
 
Until the mid-1970s, it was better off than the South.

As a prerequisite, you have to kill Juche. Kill it very, very dead.
 
Kill the Kims off and replace them with more moderate leaders.

A good POD would be either the Chinese purging Kim Il-sung after the korean war or a coup backed by the soviets to put a pro-Moscow leadership in Pyongyang
 
As Maeglin said, it was truly "Best Korea" until the 70's, so the best way is to have the south remain a proto-fascist hellhole and the north slowly liberalize; there were attempts to remove Kim Il-Sung, one in 1956 by the Soviet and Yan'an Factions and another one in the late 60's by the Kapsan Faction, just have one of them succeed.

Another option is to have the Sino-Soviet conflict erupt into open war; the North Koreans fought several skirmishes against the Chinese in that period too, so even if Kim Il-Sung tries to remain neutral I'm sure the Soviets could find some dissident grup to put in power and collaborate with them against the Chinese (maybe the remains of the Kapsan Faction); if one trusts Wikipedia, Kim Il-Sung's Cult of Personality wasn't 100% stablished until 1968, so you have some margin there. If North Korea joins the Soviets against the Chinese and win the war, they could get the Yanbian province.

The last scenario I can think of is a combination of those two:
1. The Soviets either don't boicot the UN and veto the decision to intervene in Korea or are the ones who send "volunteers" once the tide turns against the North, instead of the Chinese, eventually winning the war and arranging with the Norks some agreement that maintains srmy presence there (the Chinese troops deployed in the war stayed there until 1956 IIRC); either way you have a united communist Korea (which will be stronger than only the north almost by default).
2. Somehow the Soviet faction comes on top; this could flow from the scenario in which the Soviets are the ones to send "volunteers", as them having an army deployed inside the country could give them enough influence to put their factiom on top (yes, the Chinese had troops there too and the Yan'an Faction didn't come on top, but I'm sure that soviet influence did counterweight that, something that isn't happening with the Chinese ITTL).
3. Later, Sino-Soviet tension (which I believe is pretty much unavoidable) causes a war between the two, with pro-Soviet Korea siding, obviously, with the Soviets, and getting Yanbian after the war if they win.
 
A good POD would be either the Chinese purging Kim Il-sung after the korean war
Kim Il-Sung was waaaaay better than any Maoist stooge would have been. The last thing North Korea needs is a genocide or manmade apocalyptic famine.

or a coup backed by the soviets to put a pro-Moscow leadership in Pyongyang
That on the other hand, would probably be an upgrade. Though it might also lead to reunification under the south.
 
Kim Il-Sung was waaaaay better than any Maoist stooge would have been. The last thing North Korea needs is a genocide or manmade apocalyptic famine.


That on the other hand, would probably be an upgrade. Though it might also lead to reunification under the south.

Technically that would be the most successful North Korea possible.
 
Lets just say the North Korea and South is not unified. But things like having non hostile or even good diplomatic relation is perfectly fine.
 
Kill the Kims. Have the other communist regime follow the Chinese approach to communism, leading to North Korea opening up more to the west and enabling mass industrialization and better trade. This would probably lead to Korean unification at some point, however.
 
I think the best bet would be to tweak Kim Il-Sung's personality a bit. Perhaps he makes a friendship with Peng Dehuai durring the war, and when Peng is denounced durring the Great Leap forward Kim starts taking an interest in the China's reformist faction, and accordingly lives out the second half of his reign as an off-brand Deng Xaioping.
 
Last edited:
Top