September 27, 2021

About the author

Benjamin R. Young

Benjamin R. Young is an Assistant Professor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University). He is the author of Guns, Guerillas, and the Great Leader: North Korea and the Third World (Stanford University Press, 2021). He received his Ph.D. from The George Washington University in 2018. He has previously taught at the U.S. Naval War College and Dakota State University. He has published peer-reviewed articles on North Korean history and politics in a number of scholarly journals and is a regular contributor to NK News.

More articles by 'Benjamin R. Young'

The contentious field of North Korean studies: Schools of thought and divisions
NK PRO

The contentious field of North Korean studies: Schools of thought and divisions

Analysts and researchers often disagree on core issues, from how to label the Kim regime to the DPRK’s nuclear program

The contentious field of North Korean studies: Schools of thought and divisions
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young September 24, 2021
Guns in one hand: Kim Jong Un’s revitalization of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards

Guns in one hand: Kim Jong Un’s revitalization of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards

Elite force featured in parade is akin to the National Guard, helping to repel invasion and respond to natural disasters

Guns in one hand: Kim Jong Un’s revitalization of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young September 17, 2021
How Xi Jinping’s growing personality cult differs from Kim family worship

How Xi Jinping’s growing personality cult differs from Kim family worship

North Korea’s idolatry is rooted in past accomplishments while China’s Xi stakes his legitimacy on future performance

How Xi Jinping’s growing personality cult differs from Kim family worship
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young September 13, 2021
Understanding North Korea’s ‘final victory’ and why it matters

Understanding North Korea’s ‘final victory’ and why it matters

For top North Korean officials, the quickest way to ensure their system’s long-term survival is through reunification

Understanding North Korea’s ‘final victory’ and why it matters
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young September 6, 2021
What the US withdrawal from Afghanistan means for North Korea

What the US withdrawal from Afghanistan means for North Korea

Pyongyang hardliners may think their idea of reunification is real again, but Korea differs vastly from Afghanistan

What the US withdrawal from Afghanistan means for North Korea
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young August 18, 2021
As economy struggles, North Korea invokes self-reliance to inspire workers

As economy struggles, North Korea invokes self-reliance to inspire workers

Juche is being reemphasized in Kim Jong Un’s North Korea. That’s not a good sign for the North Korean economy

As economy struggles, North Korea invokes self-reliance to inspire workers
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young August 12, 2021
Ideology still drives North Korea and China together

Ideology still drives North Korea and China together

The dream of socialism may be dead in Eastern Europe but it is alive and well in East Asia

Ideology still drives North Korea and China together
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young August 5, 2021
North Korea’s relations with Cuba: Revolutionary comrades and brothers-in-arms

North Korea’s relations with Cuba: Revolutionary comrades and brothers-in-arms

Long united against U.S interventionism, the Havana protests show how far apart the two friends’ societies have drifted

North Korea’s relations with Cuba: Revolutionary comrades and brothers-in-arms
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young July 13, 2021
In Kim Jong Un’s speeches, Marx returns to North Korea

In Kim Jong Un’s speeches, Marx returns to North Korea

Reappearance of communism in country's discourse suggests regime's loss of ideological control due to pandemic

In Kim Jong Un’s speeches, Marx returns to North Korea
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young July 7, 2021
Why North Koreans are worried about Kim Jong Un’s weight loss

Why North Koreans are worried about Kim Jong Un’s weight loss

The DPRK may be highlighting his physical sacrifices to motivate citizens to work harder during the COVID-19 pandemic

Why North Koreans are worried about Kim Jong Un’s weight loss
Benjamin R. Young
Benjamin R. Young June 29, 2021
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