Blessing in disguise? Kim Jong Un is using COVID-19 to bolster his control
North Korea's virus prevention measures have given Pyongyang the pretext to clamp down on private market trade
In recent months, many have watched North Korea’s COVID-19 response and wondered about Pyongyang’s intentions. But this framing isn’t particularly helpful.
North Korea is not just reacting to the impositions of the crisis. The regime is certainly afraid of COVID-19 and has taken drastic steps to limit its spread, but North Korea is also no stranger to imposing pains on its population if it can reap political and social benefits.
Simply put, COVID-19 offers a useful pretext: In the infamous words of American politician Rahm Emanuel, one should “never let a good
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