Books

Stop North Korea!

Stop North Korea Cover

Imagine you control a multi-billion dollar capital fund, and North Korea is an underperforming corporation. You see it is undervalued and want to take it over, but it is controlled by an old-fashioned board of directors—the Kim family and a small number of ultra elites—who will not negotiate a deal. In this regressive situation it is logical to offer its shareholders—the political and military elites, government managers and bureaucrats, and the general population—a higher price for their shares to convince them to overrule their board of directors.

Blurbs—short and long versions

(short version)

“This is not an ordinary book, but North Korea is not an ordinary problem. Stop North Korea offers provocative new ideas for reunifying and denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.”
Sean M. Lynn-Jones
Editor, International Security

“This book provides… meticulous research, creative yet deep and even theoretical analysis, and fresh solutions. Every Asia hand should read this book with an open mind to break the impasse that we have reached with North Korea.”
Mr. Sungtae “Jacky” Park
Council on Foreign Relations

“Any respectable college course on Korea should have this book on its syllabus.”
Dr. Jae H. Ku
Director, U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS
The Johns Hopkins University

“This book is a “must read” for policy makers as well as political scientists who need imagination, innovative ideas, and rigorous logic in resolving North Korean nuclear issues and reunifying two Koreas.”
Dr. Hyug Baeg Im
Advisor to three Korean Presidents
Korea University

“… it is time to start thinking outside the box, and Shepherd Iverson’s book proposes one of the new innovative approaches which should be given a thought.”
Dr. Andrei Lankov
North Korea Specialist
Kookmin University

“Given the stakes in Northeast Asia, whether in the economic, political or security realms, this is a plan that should be considered by Northeast Asia’s policy elites, and by their counterparts in Washington. Time is running out.”
Dr. Gregory J. Moore
Head, School of International Studies
University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China

“An original and deeply felt treatment of an important international challenge.”
Dr. Miroslav Nincic
Political Scientist
University of California at Davis
“The success of this plan could lead to hundreds of billions of dollars of investments in the former North Korea.”
Dr. Jung Sang Lee
International Financier

“Stop North Korea is well written, well designed, and extremely timely. In fact, this is the first book to suggest a new approach in solving the North Korea problem. Thus, every peace loving person– diplomates, politicians, journalists, students, and general public should read this book.”
Dr. Suk Hi Kim
Founding Editor of North Korean Review
Professor of International Finance
University of Detroit Mercy

“Dr. Iverson carefully delineates the fast-rising dangers on the way to his inescapable conclusion: There is a way out. We should all see the light and work to turn his concept into reality.”
Donald Kirk
Journalist and Author

“Shepherd Iverson has described an innovative and creative means of incentivizing Korean reunification… even one used to seeing the complications of North Korea diplomacy is left with the niggling feeling that yes, it’s a long shot, but the potential is there, and wouldn’t it be cool if it DID work?”
Dr. David von Hippel
Nautilus Institute

(long version)
“This is not an ordinary book, but North Korea is not an ordinary problem. Stop North Korea offers provocative new ideas for reunifying and denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Although many will disagree with the book’s recommendations, the detailed analysis in this volume reveals the magnitude of the economic and security challenges posed by North Korea. Stop North Korea should stimulate new thinking about how China, South Korea, and the United States can find solutions to long-standing economic, security, and humanitarian problems.”
Sean M. Lynn-Jones
Editor, International Security

“The global policy community needs innovative insights with regard to policy toward North Korea, which is becoming an acutely dangerous threat to Northeast Asia and beyond. This book provides just that with meticulous research, creative yet deep and even theoretical analysis, and fresh solutions. Every Asia hand should read this book with an open mind to break the impasse that we have reached with North Korea.”
Mr. Sungtae “Jacky” Park
Council on Foreign Relations

“Shepherd Iverson has written a deceptively powerful book. His argument that the entire country of North Korea, beginning with its elites, be bought off for the purpose of reunification and denuclearization sounds fantastically ludicrous. However as the reader sinks into the chapters, the reader is quickly mired in the quicksand of his intellectual reasoning and overwhelming evidence. One begins to nod slowly and whisper yes in agreement. Then you are confronted with the reality that approaches towards North Korea for the past three decades have failed, and that the same path that led to nowhere is most likely leading us to destruction. Iverson’s plan may be the only workable plan left. Any respectable college course on Korea should have this book on its syllabus. As Iverson laments the lack of think-outside-of-the-box mentality in our current generation of scholars and policy wonks, our future will surely rest on our young. Let their understanding of the Koreas begin with this book.”
Dr. Jae H. Ku
Director, U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS
The Johns Hopkins University

“Stop North Korea is a wonderful book that provides imagination-poor policy makers and strategists in South Korea, the US and China an innovative, feasible, ready-to-use solution for the denuclearization of North Korea, inter-Korean peace, and eventual reunification of two Koreas. The author, Shepherd Iverson is an Erasmusian economic peace theorist. Desiderius Erasmus was the greatest philosopher of peace who argued that “the most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war.” Nevertheless, he was not an idealist pacifist but an economic pacifist by saying “buy peace if necessary.” Iverson is the first political scientist who employs economic and materialist peace theory to solve the North Korean nuclear issue and to restore peace in East Asia as well as the Korean Peninsula. Compared to One Korea: A Proposal for Peace in which Iverson proposed the original idea of a Reunification Investment Fund, he passionately as well as logically argues, in this book, the imminent necessity for inter-Korean peace in the much broader changing geopolitical landscape in East Asia and the feasibility of restoring peace in the Korean Peninsula with the Reunification Investment Fund. This book is a “must read” for policy makers as well as political scientists who need imagination, innovative ideas, and rigorous logic in resolving North Korean nuclear issues and reunifying two Koreas.”
Dr. Hyug Baeg Im
Advisor to three Korean Presidents
Korea University

“North Korean problems have no easy solutions, but all old approaches have failed. Thus, it is time to start thinking outside the box, and Shepherd Iverson’s book proposes one of the new innovative approaches which should be given a thought.”
Dr. Andrei Lankov
North Korea Specialist
Kookmin University

“Shepherd Iverson offers up a well thought-out plan to reunify the Korean Peninsula via a massive macro-economic, multi-national investment program, a sort of friendly buy-out on the scale of the Marshall Plan. At first it might sound crazy, but Iverson has done his homework and this just might work if the Pyongyang leadership can be persuaded to buy in to it. The plan offers impressive financial and political incentives for them to do so. Given the stakes in Northeast Asia, whether in the economic, political or security realms, this is a plan that should be considered by Northeast Asia’s policy elites, and by their counterparts in Washington. Time is running out. North Korea will have an operational, deliverable nuclear weapon soon (or may already have such a weapon): it is imperative that American and Northeast Asian policymakers consider new ways to address the issue of the divided Korean Peninsula and North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs. Iverson’s is one proposal they should consider.”
Dr. Gregory J. Moore
Head, School of International Studies
University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China

“An original and deeply felt treatment of an important international challenge.”
Dr. Miroslav Nincic
Political Science Professor
University of California at Davis

“The original version of “the peace fund” as a possible solution to the North Korean nuclear standoff written by Shepherd Iverson appeared in North Korean Review a few years ago After I read the article, I felt that the proposal was not only radical, but also weird. I still think the idea of the peace fund is a radical approach to solve the North Korean nuclear problem, but I do not consider it as a weird one any more. The United States and its allies, sometime supported by China and Russia, have unsuccessfully used all kinds of approaches, with the possible exception of military strikes, to stop North Korea from developing the weapons of mass destruction. Stop North Korea is well written, well designed, and extremely timely. In fact, this is the first book to suggest a new approach in solving the North Korea problem. Thus, every peace loving person– diplomates, politicians, journalists, students, and general public should read this book. In addition, every library should have a copy of this book for their patrons.”
Dr. Suk Hi Kim
Founding Editor of North Korean Review
Professor of International Finance
University of Detroit Mercy

“Dr. Iverson has come up with a creative, imaginative proposal for ending the North-South Korean standoff and bringing about peace and harmony on the Korean peninsula. How about establishing a “reunification investment fund” that would provide incentive for the North Korean elite, and their foes in South Korea and everywhere else, to come to terms on which all would happily agree? There would be no winners and losers, just good-will and common sense after decades of rising confrontation that now risks nuclear holocaust, mass death and destruction. Dr. Iverson carefully delineates the fast-rising dangers on the way to his inescapable conclusion: There is a way out. We should all see the light and work to turn his concept into reality. Critics may not agree, but nothing else has worked. Here’s an idea that at the least deserves careful consideration if not full acceptance.”
Donald Kirk
Journalist and author
“Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine”

“Shepherd Iverson has described an innovative and creative means of incentivizing Korean reunification. Although it will doubtless need to be combined with a myriad other forms of persuasion, inducement and motivation, the concept of a Reunification Investment Fund has the one attribute that no (peaceful) solution to North Korean nuclear weapons and related issues can do without — it is a powerful lever to get leaders talking. Iverson carefully embeds his idea in the complex geopolitical backdrop of East Asian and Great Power economics and geopolitics, including the ongoing and potential deployment of conventional and nuclear weapons in the region. After reading the book, even one used to seeing the complications of North Korea diplomacy is left with the niggling feeling that yes, it’s a long shot, but the potential is there, and wouldn’t it be cool if it DID work?”
Dr. David von Hippel
Nautilus Institute

“If war can be reduced to a competition over money–and control over the land, people, and the resources that produce it–then it should be possible to pay in advance to prevent it.”

Stop North Korea! A radical new approach to solving the North Korean standoff uses this underlying premise to provide an alternative to every book written about the North Korean nuclear threat and growing East Asia militarism. Taking a cultural and geoeconomic approach, this book proposes that reunification is the way to denuclearize North Korea, end the government’s oppressive regime and create a fruitful, sustainable peace.  The book further proposes that the way to achieve reunification is, essentially, to buy it while there is still a chance to preempt increasingly dangerous security conditions before they spiral out of control. It is business-as-peace-crafting in a way that has never been imagined before.

How to finance and implement a fund to incentivize a people who are ready for change; why incentives will succeed now where coercion and diplomacy have failed in the past; and how they will result in a peaceful and prosperous reunified Korea are at the core of this fascinating and hopeful work.

One Korea: A Proposal for Peace (2013)

One Korea A Proposal for Peace book cover