US Korea Institute

Sunday April 20th 2014
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Domestic Affairs

From politics to economics, from leadership succession to the introduction of fast food restaurants, there is a lot going on inside North Korea.

The North Korean Tablet Computer Samjiyon: Hardware, Software and Resources

The North Korean Tablet Computer Samjiyon: Hardware, Software and Resources

A 38 North Product Review by Ruediger Frank A few months ago the ever-growing community of those interested in the DPRK learned that there is now something like a local version of the iPad—the Samjiyon tablet computer (p’anhyŏng k’omp’yut’ŏ samjiyŏn). After having had a chance to test it briefly during a visit in May 2013, I could [...]

Sports!

Sports!

This month, the front covers of two of my favorite magazines, Korea and Korea Today, both feature athletics. One shows a sort of mass participatory event, perhaps a youth camp. The other shows the elite table tennis players who defeated their southern kin in the finals of the world championships a couple months ago. These magazines generally exist [...]

Kim Jong Un’s Pyongyang Shuffle

Kim Jong Un’s Pyongyang Shuffle

Kim Jong Un’s efforts to consolidate power continue 15 months after formally assuming the supreme leadership of North Korea. Evidence of his personal stamp can be seen in a series of senior personnel appointments made at the recent plenary session of the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) Central Committee held on March 31, 2013, and the 7th session [...]

Kim Jong Un’s Domestic Policy Record in His First Year: Surprisingly Good

Kim Jong Un’s Domestic Policy Record in His First Year: Surprisingly Good

The year 2012 started with hysterical nationwide mourning for the deceased leader Kim Jong Il. The country was gripped with the fear of abandonment, uncertainty and chaos. But, by the time 2012 came to a close, one could detect hope in the air, and new positive expectations about the future. There was also plenty of public thirst for new [...]

Part III: Overhauling the Legacy Government

Part III: Overhauling the Legacy Government

This is Part III of a three-part series written by Dr. Alexandre Mansourov assessing the leadership changes during Kim Jong Un’s first year in office. This article will analyze the main drivers and directions shaping the transformation of the government Kim inherited from his father. It argues that in the past year, the young leader has [...]

Part II: The Kim Family Reigns: Preserving the Monarchy and Strengthening the Party-State

Part II: The Kim Family Reigns: Preserving the Monarchy and Strengthening the Party-State

This is Part II of a three-part analytical series written by Dr. Alexandre Y. Mansourov assessing the leadership changes during Kim Jong Un’s initial year in office. This article will analyze key dynamics within the Kim family, including the rising influence of Kim Jong Un’s uncle Jang Song Thaek and the emergence of Kim’s wife, Ri Sol Ju as [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.