US Korea Institute

Sunday December 21st 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘jang song thaek’

A Senior North Korean Banking Official Defects?

A Senior North Korean Banking Official Defects?

Office 39 (Image (c) 2012 DigitalGlobe; Courtesy of Michael Madden) Last Friday’s headlines on North Korea were filled with the following news alert—“a senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country.” We do not know if he did defect—the [...]

The DPRK Political Season: Two Post-Mortems

The DPRK Political Season: Two Post-Mortems

North Korea kicked off its political calendar with a pair of meetings on April 8 and April 9, 2014. Continuing a standard practice of the Kim Il Sung Era, a meeting of the top leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee occurred a day ahead of the opening session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly. The Political [...]

Personnel Shifts in the SPA Election: Steady as She Goes

Personnel Shifts in the SPA Election: Steady as She Goes

Click here for a translated list of the SPA Deputies (Members) as a result of the March 9, 2014 election. (List reported in Korean by KCNA; translated by Michael Madden.) The election of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly on March 9, 2014 did not reveal any major personnel or policy changes in North Korea’s unicameral parliament. With an [...]

Some Thoughts on the North Korean Parliamentary Election of 2014

Some Thoughts on the North Korean Parliamentary Election of 2014

Elections for the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), the parliament of North Korea, were held on March 9, 2014. Such elections take place every five years. The last polls, originally scheduled for 2008, were held in 2009, most likely in response to the worsening health condition of then leader Kim Jong Il. The elections in 2003 had been [...]

Shocking, But Not a Game Changer: Unraveling Regime Dynamics in Post-Jang North Korea

Shocking, But Not a Game Changer: Unraveling Regime Dynamics in Post-Jang North Korea

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 [...]

The Demise of Jang Song Thaek and the Future of North Korea’s Financial System

The Demise of Jang Song Thaek and the Future of North Korea’s Financial System

The demise of Jang Song Thaek and those loyal to him just may be good news for the prospects of reforming the North Korean financial system. This system is perhaps the most perverse on the planet, having evolved in a context defined by North Korea’s isolation and inward orientation, its dogged adherence to the ideals of a State-directed economy, [...]

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