From politics to economics, from leadership succession to the introduction of fast food restaurants, there is a lot going on inside North Korea.
With less than three months left before the 7th Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Congress is scheduled to convene in May, Kim Jong Un appears to be appointing hardliners to key national security positions. The growing prominence of these officials—party cadres and military officers who support a more belligerent policy toward the ROK, the United [...]
Since 2009, North Korea has held a single state funeral each year and named all of its top officials to the event’s organizing committee, allowing outsiders a glimpse at an approximate top-to-bottom ranking of the country’s elite. An individual’s placement on the publicly issued annual roster suggests where that official stands in relation [...]
Ko Yong Suk and her husband Pak Kun, an aunt and uncle of Kim Jong Un, attracted international headlines for filing a slander lawsuit in late November against a trio of North Korean defectors. The South Korean legal action provided a rare glimpse—outside of official North Korean media content—into the family life of the supreme leader, [...]
Executive Summary Despite almost 50 years of exploratory surveys, test drillings, foreign investment and assistance and tantalizing potential, North Korea has yet to definitively identify any proven commercially exploitable reserves of crude oil or natural gas. The reasons for this are somewhat complex, but they can be distilled into three [...]
When analysts attempt to make sense of data on North Korea, confusion is often the order of the day. This year has been no exception. International aid agencies claim that a major drought has fomented a now-dire food shortage in the country, but in truth, the numbers don’t seem to indicate that things are any worse than normal. Agricultural [...]
North Korea’s political culture recently attracted a spate of new international media attention when Choe Ryong Hae, a member of the nation’s core elite, disappeared from public view. For 18 months, Choe had served as a senior Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Secretary and a member of the WPK Political Bureau’s Presidium (or standing [...]