January 2, 2012

New Kim, Same North Korea

John Hemmings, The Diplomat

AP Photo

Events surrounding the death of Kim Jong-il have revealed a country in transition, and an elite apparently shifting seamlessly from one ruler to another. Yet the funeral list, the promotion of Kim's youngest son as ‘Great Successor’ and ‘Supreme Commander,’ and the political movements around Kim’s sisterKim Kyung-hee and her husband, Chang Sung-taek have underscored the shifting balance of power between the Kims and the National Defence Commission, the Korean People’s Army (KPA), and the Korean Worker’s Party (KWP).

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TAGGED: North Korea, Kim Jong-un


December 27, 2011
North Korea's Samurai Rules
Yuriko Koike, Project Syndicate
Although Kim Jong-il received his reign from his own father, North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung, history suggests that a clean transfer from father to son is the exception rather than the rule. more ››
December 20, 2011
Will Kim Jong-un Test a Nuclear Weapon?
Eli Lake, The Daily Beast
Kim Jong-un will have his work cut out for him as he seeks to rule the Hermit Kingdom. One of his first decisions will be whether to test a nuclear weapon in 2012 - and how to consolidate power from his rivals in the military... more ››
December 24, 2011
What Course Will North Korea Take?
Ralph Cossa, Korea Times
Kim Jong-il is dead. This much we pretty well know for sure. This plus the revelation, which should have come as a surprise to no one, that the North Korean people are being called upon to "faithfully revere respectable comrade... more ››
December 20, 2011
A New Warden for Pyongyang's Prison State
National Post
In some cases, the passing of a dictator such as Kim can be the first step in a nation's transition to democracy. But that is too much to expect for North Korea, a nation where civil society is non-existent and political... more ››
December 20, 2011
Can Kim Jong-un Be a Reformer?
Gilbert Rozman, The New Republic
The death of Kim Jong-Il is not only an opportunity to reflect on the manifest crimes he committed against the people of North Korea, but also to consider just how heavily his devious regime now weighs in calculations about... more ››