May 19, 2024

N.Korea insists on ‘ritual’ displays that harm itself: Academic

Kim Jong Un more likely to die in office than see his regime collapse, historian of Korea says

HONOLULU—North Korea insists on displaying outward signs of competitiveness with its neighbors, such as through its recent satellite launch, even when such demonstrations are not good for the country, a noted scholar of Korea said Thursday.

University of Chicago history professor Bruce Cumings said that the North is a “ritualistic” regime that insists on following ritual displays, and the recent launch of a satellite into orbit demonstrates its commitment to signs that it can keep pace with South Korea and Japan technologically, even though it long ago lost the ability to compete with them economically.

Become a member for less than $4 per week.

  • Unlimited access to all of NK News: reporting, investigations, analysis
  • The NK News Daily Update, an email newsletter to keep you in the loop
  • Searchable archive of all content, photo galleries, special columns
  • Contact NK News reporters with tips or requests for reporting
Get unlimited access to all NK News content, including original reporting, investigations, and analyses by our team of DPRK experts.
Subscribe now

All major cards accepted. No commitments – you can cancel any time.