September 26, 2023

10 years of Kim Jong Un: What was Kim’s worst decision so far?

Experts vote on Kim’s worst calls during his first decade in power, from COVID controls to negotiating tactics

Ten years ago next week, Kim Jong Un became the sole leader of one of the most repressive and isolated countries in the world after his father and former DPRK leader Kim Jong Il died from an apparent heart attack.

While Kim has largely succeeded in securing his rule over the country, troubles are mounting. The country’s isolationist response to COVID-19 has cut off nearly all trade with China, the lifeline of the North Korean economy. Kim’s initial flirtation with marketization appears to be over, with the state reinserting oversight and control. And his diplomatic blitz of 2018-19 did nothing to relieve international sanctions against his country.