US Korea Institute

Thursday February 11th 2016
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Posts Tagged ‘kim jong un’

Never Say Never

Never Say Never

(Photo: KCNA) North Korea’s fourth nuclear test surprised a lot of people. That surprise unleashed, among other things, the notion that Kim Jong Un is erratic, an especially loose cannon with no advisers who might counsel restraint because they have all been kicked aside or died. If that were true, one might wonder about the North’s first [...]

Kim Jong Un’s Aunt Edges Further From the Spotlight

Kim Jong Un’s Aunt Edges Further From the Spotlight

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 [...]

North Korea’s New Propagandist?

North Korea’s New Propagandist?

In late July 2015, the international media briefly shifted its attention to Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, when a defector-run publication Daily NK reported that she now holds “de facto” control of the Workers’ Party of Korea’s (WPK) Propaganda and Agitation Department (officially called the Publicity and Information Department, [...]

The Rise and Fall of General Hyon Yong Chol

The Rise and Fall of General Hyon Yong Chol

  Kim Jong Un dismissed Hyon Yong Chol as North Korea’s minister of defense around April 30, 2015—this much we know, but little else about his fate is certain. South Korean intelligence reported the following month that the regime executed Hyon, but in truth, it remains unclear today if he is dead or alive. If South Korean [...]

Is North Korea Gearing Up for Another Space Launch?

Is North Korea Gearing Up for Another Space Launch?

On May 8, KCNA carried a typically vituperative essay by North Korea’s national space authority stating that “No matter who dares grumble and no matter how all hostile forces challenge the launch, satellites of Juche Korea will soar into the space one after another at the time and place designated and decided by the supreme leadership of the [...]

Keeping Up with the Kims: When Not to Freak Out

Keeping Up with the Kims: When Not to Freak Out

He’s alive! After a ten-day absence, Vladimir Putin surfaced looking, well, ten days older. A lot of people probably felt silly. This is a recurring problem—for foreign policy watchers of any stripe, but especially Korea-watchers. Every time a dictator takes a few days off, Twitter freaks out, deciding that the he’s dead, there is a coup [...]

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