South Korea has developed an index that measures the level of crisis in North Korea and the possibility of the communist country's transition to a new political system, a government official said Sunday.
The index, called the North Korea Situation Index, will not be made public and used only for internal decision-making because its announcement may spark the ire of the North, the official at the Ministry of Unification said.
"The ministry recently concluded the calculation of the NKSI for 2013 and is drawing up an analysis report," the official said. "But it will be difficult to announce the report."
The NKSI, which is calculated once a year, is composed of subindixes covering three sectors: stability, system transition and crisis.
The stability subindex measures the stability of the North Korean regime by calculating the level of stability in the country's politics, military and economy.
The system-transition subindex mirrors the possibility of North Korea's transition to a new political system, while the crisis subindex is a barometer of Pyongyang's overall crisis, according to the official.
The three subindexes are measured on a scale of zero to 100. The closer to 100 the subindex, the higher the level of instability, crisis and change in North Korea.
Between 2010 and 2012, the ministry spent 4.65 billion won ($4.31 million) to develop a calculation system for the NKSI.
North Korea has recently undergone a political upheaval following the surprise execution last month of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's once-powerful uncle, Jang Song-thaek.
South and North Korea remain technically in a state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. (Yonhap News)