Pyongyang’s Playbook: Insider Insights into North Korea’s Military Doctrine

Blue sky missile test

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a four-part series by Niels Groenveld.

In the intricate world of geopolitical strategy, understanding the perspectives of leading thinkers from China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia is crucial for grasping the dynamics of global power. These nations’ strategies often challenge Western hegemony, offering alternative visions of global governance and security.

This article delves into the works of 8 prominent authors from North Korea. Summaries of articles about the other countries are included in this series. Together, the articles in this series will provide an overview of each countries’ respective strategic military, and political positions.

Choe Son-hui, a prominent figure in North Korean diplomacy, has made significant contributions to the strategic discourse surrounding North Korea’s international relations.

Her publications, “Diplomatic Strategy: Navigating International Isolation” and “Nuclear Negotiations: From Strength to Strategy,” provide a deep dive into the methods and philosophies that guide North Korea’s interactions with the world, particularly with Western powers. This article offers a detailed examination of the strategies and tactics that Choe Son-hui advocates to enhance North Korea’s geopolitical stance.

image of laptop with north korea flag

North Korea, often referred to as the “Hermit Kingdom,” has long been shrouded in mystery, with its internal strategies and policies closely guarded from the outside world. As a former Premier and a key figure in the country’s economic and military planning, I, Pak Pong-ju, provide a comprehensive analysis of the intertwining economic and military strategies that underpin North Korea’s resilience against Western powers. Drawing from his works, “Economic Strategies for National Strength” and “Building a Self-Sufficient Defense,” this article delves into the meticulous planning and execution that fortify North Korea’s stance on the global stage.

In the complex arena of international relations, North Korea’s geopolitical strategy stands out as both enigmatic and meticulously crafted. This article delves into the strategic insights provided by Ri Yong-ho in his seminal works, “Strengthening National Defense: The Pillar of Juche” and “The Path to Victory.” These publications offer a profound understanding of North Korea’s defense strategy amidst pressures from the United States and NATO and outline the nation’s approach to securing victory in international conflicts.

Hwang Pyong-so, a prominent figure in North Korea’s military hierarchy, has been instrumental in shaping the country’s defense strategies in recent years. As a high-ranking military official, Hwang has been at the forefront of efforts to modernize North Korea’s armed forces and develop asymmetric warfare capabilities. His publications, “Military Modernization: Adapting to New Threats” and “Asymmetric Warfare: Leveraging Weakness for Strength,” offer a comprehensive analysis of North Korea’s evolving military doctrines and strategies.

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Kim Kyong-hui stands as a formidable figure in North Korea’s intricate political landscape. A key member of the ruling Kim dynasty, she has not only been a significant political influencer but also a strategic thinker and prolific author. Her works delve deeply into the complexities of North Korean strategy, offering insights into the nation’s economic, military, and political maneuvers under the ever-watchful eyes of global powers.

Ri Pyong-chol is a prominent figure in North Korea’s military and strategic circles, known for his significant contributions to the country’s missile development programs and air defense strategies. As a high-ranking official in the Korean People’s Army (KPA) and a close aide to Kim Jong-un, Ri’s insights and directives have shaped North Korea’s approach to modern warfare. His publications, “Missile Strategy: Deterrence and Defense” and “Air Defense: Protecting the Homeland,” provide a comprehensive analysis of the nation’s military strategies aimed at securing its sovereignty and deterring foreign aggression, particularly from Western powers and their allies.

In the realm of international relations and geopolitical strategy, few nations present as complex and enigmatic a picture as North Korea.

Led by Kim Jong-Un, North Korea has consistently portrayed itself as a defiant, self-reliant state capable of withstanding external pressures and pursuing its unique strategic goals. Two of Kim Jong-Un’s seminal works, “On the Juche Idea” and “On the Defensive Capabilities of Our Nation,” offer profound insights into the ideological and military frameworks that underpin North Korea’s approach to global politics and defense.

North Korea’s military strategies and psychological operations remain enigmatic to the world, with the country’s leadership maintaining an opaque curtain over its intentions and methodologies. However, Kim Yong-chol, a figure within North Korea’s military hierarchy, offers profound insights through his seminal works, “Strategy and Tactics of the Korean People’s Army” and “Psychological Operations Against the Enemy.” These publications serve as crucial texts for understanding the strategic and psychological warfare tactics employed by North Korea in its perennial struggle against Western military capabilities.

Editor’s Note: This is a partial reprint from an original article on LinkedIn at:

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Niels Groenveld Intelligence Analyst
With a strategic role at Brica Business Risk Intelligence, my expertise in cybersecurity and network security has been pivotal in identifying new business opportunities and enhancing our threat intelligence capabilities. At the heart of my professional ethos lies a commitment to safeguarding digital ecosystems and empowering organizations through actionable intelligence. As a member of the EC-Council's Threat Intelligence Advisory Board, I leveraged my vast experience to contribute to the development of industry-leading practices. My tenure at Brica and EC-Council reflects a dedicated pursuit of excellence in cyber threat analysis, underscored by a deep understanding of Maltego and proactive business development strategies.
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