Is North Korea’s Regime Really in Peril?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center right, and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, center left, at a musical performance in North Korea, June 2, 2019 (Korean Central News Agency photo via AP Images).
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center right, and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, center left, at a musical performance in North Korea, June 2, 2019 (Korean Central News Agency photo via AP Images).

North Korea has never been an easy country to understand from the outside. But the recent cycle of seemingly contradictory developments in one the world’s most isolated countries appears especially bewildering. Last month, there were reports of a major leadership shakeup in Pyongyang, followed by a startling report in South Korean media that several key North Korean officials who had been in charge of negotiations with the United States had been executed or purged. Within a week, however, several of these officials resurfaced. These stories are a reminder that all too often, the immediate coverage about the North Korean state […]

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