Kim Jong-un’s Cane and the Manchurian Guerrilla Faction: BBC Interview

In the pre-history and contemporary history of both the People’s Republic of China and its North Korean counterpart, purges have been a regular — if unpredictably appearing — phenomenon. Kim Il-sung’s purge of his wartime Foreign Minister Pak Han-yong in 1953 was followed shortly thereafter by a Maoist purge of Gao Gang, the very individual through whom so much Chinese aid flowed via Manchuria, in 1954.

The questions in this recent interview with BBC veteran presenter Julian Marshall started with some standard photo analysis of the young North Korean dictator’s cane, but they managed to veer back to core issues about how “stable” things might actually be within the DPRK leadership system. While purges and coups are never out of the realm of possibility, having some historical perspective on the matter never hurts.

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