November 28, 2012

New North Korea? Same as Old North Korea

Doug Bandow, Forbes

AP Photo

After only the second power transition in North Korea’s history, the government, essentially a Kim family criminal enterprise, appears to be stable.  However, the regime’s foundation is weak.  Although Pyongyang has begun to loosen economic controls, so far only the elite are benefiting.  Washington should be willing to engage the North, but should expect no breakthroughs.

 

Last December “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il died.  His son, Kim Jong-un, tagged the “Great Successor,” was left nominally in charge.  However, it remains unclear if Kim fils also is the great decision-maker.  A recent report from the International Crisis Group pointed to factors which reinforced “the Kim family cult and concentration of power,” but the ruling elite are invested...

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TAGGED: North Korea, Kim Jong-un

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