August 27, 2012

If You Were Kim Jong-un...

U.S.-Korea Institute, U.S.-Korea Institute

AP Photo

What would YOU do if after attending a privileged boarding school and a few years of university abroad your destiny suddenly catapulted you into a position of highest authority and responsibility for a troubled and impoverished country, one seen as part of an “axis of evil?” This is exactly the situation Marshal Kim Jong Un faces today and I doubt if there are people around him who have enough courage or knowledge of the world to give him substantive advice. After all, most of them have been selected for their obedience and ability to implement the “wise guidance of the Leader” without daring to have their own opinions. North Koreans are not likely to rely on advice from foreign scholars, whether out of pride (chabusim) or suspicion of malicious intent. But being an...

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TAGGED: Kim Jong-un, North Korea


August 16, 2012
Little Has Changed in North Korea
Charles Armstrong, New York Times
Kim Jong-un's public image gives little indication of the political and economic policies his regime will follow. He is distancing himself from his father's power circle, especially the military old guard to whom Kim Jong-il was... more ››
August 21, 2012
Kim Jong-un Is No Reformer
Victor Cha, Foreign Policy
For those searching for signs of reform in North Korea, Kim Jong Un has been a godsend. Women on North Korean state TV wore high heels and miniskirts while he sat in the audience. Disney characters, the cultural export of a... more ››
August 23, 2012
Are Rare Earths North Korea's New Trump Card?
East Asia Forum
Paradoxically, the promise of Kim Jong-il might soon come true and North Korea may become a ‘rich and powerful state’ — rich in natural resources and empowered by nuclear technologies. Might North Korea not need... more ››
South Korea, not China or Vietnam, is the North's best partner that has both the money and development know-how. Pyongyang should knock on Seoul's door while throwing away its atomic bombs and missiles. more ››