Kim Jong-un

Communist Normalcy: How Authoritarian Leaders Disappear and Return

By | October 21, 2014

Kim Jong-un has now made a handful of public appearances since ending his 40+ days out of the public eye, and it appears clear that the young leader’s health was a major cause of his absence. This came as no surprise to analyst Nick Miller.

New Era, New Challenges: North Korea Analysis on Virgin Soil

By | September 29, 2014

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.

“Victory Day,” the Canonization of Kim Jong-il, and North Korean Succession Politics

By | August 02, 2014

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: Senior Kim Aide Appears in Beijing

By | June 27, 2014

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 He or Is He Not? Political Authority, Media Appearance, and the DPRK Leadership Question

By | May 20, 2014

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.

The New King’s Hand: Change in the Court of the Great Successor

By | May 06, 2014

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.