North Korean moderates need their power back — or nuclear talks won’t succeed
Major political shifts in the DPRK leadership are derailing negotiations today
The following analysis was written by Thomas Schäfer, the former German ambassador to North Korea from 2007 to 2010 and from 2013 to 2018.
North Korean propaganda depicts the country as a hierarchical state whose leader, Kim Jong Un, sets the course as supreme ruler while perfectly embodying the will of the nation’s people, official party, armed forces and god-like predecessors Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
The reality is different. Diverging political views were already apparent in Kim Jong Il’s time. In the years of transition to Kim Jong Un, they led to infighting
- 01North Korea’s Oct. 10 military parade will be more pomp than provocation
- 02Timeline: From lethal shooting of South Korean official to Kim Jong Un’s apology
- 03UN Panel of Experts: Why North Korea investigations don’t lead to new sanctions
- 04North Korea’s broken bridges: Photos show typhoon and flood wreckage nationwide
- 05Why Kim Jong Un’s letters probably don’t mean a shift in South Korea policy
- 06North Korea’s killing of a South Korean official spells trouble for Moon Jae-in
- 07Hope is not lost: President Biden might actually make progress on North Korea
- 08What North Korea can do right now to stave off a full-blown economic crisis