The transition of power in North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-il portends both change and continuity. The heir to power, Kim Jong-un, no doubt relies on advice if not pressure from an inner circle of generals and other senior leaders. So far North Korean policy appears extremely tough, but perhaps that's an attempt to buttress his image amid concerns about his youth and inexperience. The words of older half-brother Kim Jong-nam, in exile in Macao, suggest the problems besetting a regime facing hunger and disease while perpetuating the dynasty in place since the end of the Pacific War.
ISPI Research Fellow