December 08, 2022
Analysis

10 years of Kim Jong Un: What was his best decision so far?

More than 80 experts vote on Kim’s smartest calls for sustaining his rule, from ballistic missiles to ties with Beijing

This month marks 10 years since Kim Jong Un suddenly inherited power after his father, Kim Jong Il, died of a heart attack on Dec. 17, 2011. The younger Kim was in his late 20s at the time, and North Korean state media had only introduced him around a year before — meaning that experts were quick to cast doubt on his capacity to lead the country.

“Whether it comes apart in the next few weeks or over several months, the regime will not be able to hold together after the untimely death of its leader, Kim Jong-il,” former White House Asian Affairs director Victor Cha wrote just two days into Kim Jong Un’s leadership era.