We have more information now than ever before on the politics of the North Korean leadership. Using insights from the the politics of authoritarianism literature, this essay suggests the need for a robust framework of analysis to meet the challenges of the new era.
Why did the North Korean commemorations of the July 27, 1953 Armistice dwell so heavily on Kim Jong-il, who was just a child during the Korean War? Adam Cathcart investigates how shifting histories in Pyongyang are laying the groundwork for ongoing succession narratives for the present leader.
Ma Won-chun has been climbing the ranks in Pyongyang’s power circles and is clearly a key cog in the wheel of the Supreme Leader. So what was he doing at a library in Beijing two weeks ago? This article has been amended.
Is Kim Jong-un merely a symbol? Pekka Korhohen, a visiting scholar at Kyoto University, reviews Kim Jong-un’s charismatic leadership in both theory and practice, engaging with assertions that North Korea is not actually ruled over by the Marshal.
A recent reshuffle inside the depths of the Kim regime saw Choe Ryong-hae tumble in the rankings, and Hwang Pyong-so rise further to take his place. As ever, debate is fierce as to why this was. Nick Miller looks back over the evidence now that Choe is back in the public domain.
Kim Jong-un has asserted that “the ideological and spiritual qualities of our agricultural working people have been transformed remarkably.” Robert Winstanley-Chesters investigates.