Pyongyang Machiavelli: All of Kim’s Men

[This essay was originally published at The Diplomat on April 17, 2013.] The man at the helm in North Korea today is an accident of history, surrounded by vestigial assertions of narcissistic genius that are de rigueur for North Korea’s depiction of its own leaders. More than any time since the young Kim Il-song was surrounded by Soviet generals in the 1940s, the North Korean leader … Continue reading Pyongyang Machiavelli: All of Kim’s Men

A Little DPRK Speculation

Is this just a coincidence, or is there a correlation between: a. all this succession-song propaganda (with would-be-Jiang-Qing-except-she’s-the-leader’s-sister Kim Kyong-hui in attendance); b. the final meeting between Kim Yong-il and outgoing PRC ambassador Liu Xiaoming (whose long march farewell tour appears finally to be over); c. new Chinese media stories which report on Kim Jong-eun [ 金正银 ] (calling him “the center of the Party” … Continue reading A Little DPRK Speculation