North Korea after Kim Jong IL: The Kim Jong Un Era and its Challenges
in: Frank, Rüdiger, James Hoare, Patrick Köllner and Susan Pares (eds., 2012): Korea 2012: Politics, Economy, and Society, Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp. 109-129
21 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2016
Date Written: 2012
On 19 December 2011, the official news agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK—North Korea) announced the death of Kim Jong Il, who had been only the second leader since the foundation of his country in 1948. His death as such did not come as a great surprise; he was 68 years old and from 2008 obviously suffered from serious health problems. But after his recovery from these, not only the West but also North Korea itself seemed to have expected him to live a few years longer. The paper starts with an overview of actual events after 19 December and then turns to a number of key questions: Does Kim Jong Un have the power, and will he keep it? How is Kim Jong Un’s legitimacy being built? Do the Party and the military compete for power in North Korea? How will China behave? What will happen to North Korea’s nuclear programme? Finally, with a view into the future we ask: What will Kim Jong Un’s policies be?
Keywords: North Korea, Kim Jong IL, Power, Nuclear Programme, Policy
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