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


November 20, 2012
Mr. President, North Korea Is Not Burma
Scott Snyder, Flashpoints
President Obama’s visit to Burma only a year after the country began embarking on a dramatic but “tenuous” reform path has naturally fed speculation about lessons the leadership in Pyongyang might take from the visit.... more ››
November 20, 2012
Obama's Message to North Korea: Let's Make Up
Max Fisher, Wash Post
On Monday, President Obama visited a medium-sized Asian country known for its international isolation, brutal military dictatorship and flirtations with nuclear weapons. If that sounds familiar, you are not alone in seeing some... more ››