North Korea’s Latest Show of Strength Masks Its Weaknesses

Missiles during a military parade marking the Eighth Party Congress of North Korea’s Workers’ Party, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, Jan. 14, 2021 (Photo by Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP Images).
Missiles during a military parade marking the Eighth Party Congress of North Korea’s Workers’ Party, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, Jan. 14, 2021 (Photo by Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP Images).

North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party held its Eighth Party Congress earlier this month, followed by a big military parade—the second one since October. According to Duyeon Kim, a Seoul-based fellow with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, the series of well-publicized events were meant to project resilience at a time when North Korea is reeling from a “triple whammy” of economic sanctions, natural disasters and COVID-19. Kim joined WPR’s Elliot Waldman on the Trend Lines podcast this week to discuss the big takeaways from the party congress. Listen to the full interview with Duyeon […]

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