Signals Indicate Kim on Sure Footing in Singapore

On the eve of the Trump-Kim Summit, Predata signals capturing patterns of web traffic reveal a North Korean regime secure in its place and an expert community skeptical that the historic meeting will produce meaningful results.

The first of these signals captures activity on Korean-language web pages related to past cases of regime collapse, such as the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the US invasion of Iraq. Interest in these pages can be taken as a proxy for concern among Koreans that the North could fail, due either to outside invasion or domestic implosion.

As the chart below shows, November 2017 was a particularly harrowing month for the peninsula. The signal, which gives an aggregate of traffic on those Korean-language web pages related to past regime collapse cases, hit its highest level in a year on November 4, the day Trump flew to Asia for his first visit to the region as President. Before departing, he said the purpose of the trip was to “solve” the North Korea problem and again floated the possibility of a preemptive strike. The signal spiked again just days before Pyongyang launched an ICBM capable of hitting the continental United States.