North Korea-watchers come in all ideological shapes and sizes. We will draw on informed views to give our readers a spectrum of perspectives.
During the past 20 years the world has gained increasingly detailed knowledge about the DPRK from a variety of sources, including refugees and defectors, academic researchers, businesspeople, government negotiators, and humanitarian aid workers. Despite this knowledge, North Koreans continue to surprise us. Which means that either we have not [...]
Recently, I wrote a column in World Post on the impact of Jang Song Thaek’s purge and execution on the power structure, regime stability and policy lines in North Korea. I argued that the removal of Jang would not critically undermine political stability in North Korea, not only because his power was disproportionately exaggerated, but also [...]
This has been a dreadful year for North Korea and its relations with the outside world. Indeed, during his two years at the helm in North Korea, after the death of Kim Jong Il in December 2011, Kim Jong Un, has managed to plunge his country to the lowest point in its relations with the international community, including China. Tragically, North [...]
Jang Song Thaek was executed in a blitzkrieg manner in less than four days after he was arrested at the Enlarged Politburo Meeting of the Cental Committee (CC) of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). The immediate response of this author to the news of his execution was, “Oh my God, it is too much.” How could Kim Jong Un execute Jang, who is [...]
Jang Song Thaek has been purged, in a way that suggests that Kim Jong Un wanted to make a point. This unusual procedure is without a doubt a sign of major problems. Otherwise, the overambitious uncle would have been removed silently, as has happened so many times before. But putting all this in great detail on the front page of Monday’s Rodong [...]
About a week ago, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) disclosed Jang Song Thaek’s “likely” loss of power in North Korea. This news about Kim Jong Un’s regent, commonly considered as North Korea’s “number two” in power, was shocking. On December 9, 2013, North Korea’s official media carried a report on the [...]