Scenarios for North Korea
Why has Kim Jong-un decided to enter peace talks with South Korea now? There are several possibilities. He could be trying to reintegrate his country with the global community, maneuvering for tactical advantage or preparing for an exit from power. The latter carries the most risk and could destabilize the region.
Trump-Kim meeting marginalizes China
For years, China has had a contradictory policy on North Korea. On one hand, it condoned Pyongyang's nuclear program, while on the other it tried to broker talks to shut it down. Now, with U.S. President Donald Trump accepting an invitation from Kim Jong-un to meet and discuss denuclearization, China has been sidelined. It will still hold plenty of economic sway over its neighbor, but its grip on Pyongyang is clearly weakening.
Scenarios for the stalemate over North Korea
Kim Jong-un continues to provoke the international community, while Beijing and Washington seem powerless to stop the development of North Korea’s nuclear program. The complex web of interests and commitments in the region makes it hard to see a way to defuse the crisis, but it also seems unlikely that Mr. Kim would willingly lead his country down a path that would certainly end his regime.
Kim Jong-nam murder challenges China
For decades, China has put up with the antics of the Kim family in Pyongyang to keep the Korean peninsula divided. But the spectacular murder of dictator Kim Jong-un’s half brother may have stretched Beijing’s patience to the breaking point.
In North Korea, no one wants to stay in heaven
A surge of high-profile defections has struck at the heart of Kim Jong-un’s regime. They contradict Pyongyang’s propaganda, which calls North Korea a “heaven” on earth, and even threaten the dictator’s personal income. Kim Jong-un’s solution? Increasingly brutal methods for punishing the “traitors.”
Kim making a monkey out of China in the Year of the Monkey
The Chinese government must have expected that its trouble-bag of an ally, North Korea’s strongman Kim Jong-un, would pull some attention-grabbing stunt on the occasion of the Chinese and Korean New Year, which started on February 8 this year. Perhaps that was the reason why Wu Dawei, the Chinese foreign ministry special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs,...
How stable is the North Korean government?
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is in an appalling condition. Not only are its civilians starved, but its armed forces are extremely short of food as well. Soldiers regularly steal food from farmers and even elite border guard troops need to invent ways of feeding themselves. When they began venturing across the border into China in order to thieve money ...
China cools over North Korea after execution ends key link
The brutal way in which North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un removed his uncle and second in command Jang Song-thaek raises questions about the stability of the country and whether the tenuous ties developed with China are all but gone. THE WORLD is watching North Korea. But China is watching North Korea more closely. While t...
North Korea takes tentative steps towards economic reform
North Korea has retained its strong military hold over its population since its new leader, Kim Jong-un, succeeded his father. But attitudes towards its struggling economy do appear to be shifting. In the second part of a series on North Korea we look at how, behind the scenes and under the influence of China, it is attempting limited reforms. ...