Recent rumors of Kim Jong-un’s whereabouts and whether a coup had occurred put our ignorance about what goes on in North Korea on full display. Speculation is natural when it comes to palace intrigue in a post-totalitarian state; of course inquiring minds want to know. But even the most sagacious Korea experts have done little more than speculate. Many find solace in reports of Kim Jong-un’s appearance as confirming the status quo, forgetting that the status quo was rife with uncertainty – the very reason rumors swirled at the first sign of Kim Jong-un’s absence.
More from CNAS
CommentaryIt’s Still Hard to Be America’s Ally
The drive to enshrine a U.S. foreign policy for the American middle class may, in particular, pose new dilemmas for long-term allies....
By Richard Fontaine
CommentaryThe Pentagon must act now to address vulnerability in its enterprise
The Defense Department cannot wait for another stress test before addressing fragility in its enterprise; it must learn and adapt now....
By Tara Murphy Dougherty & Billy Fabian
PodcastAre the US and China entering a Cold War?
Demetri Sevastopulo, the FT’s US-China correspondent, talks to Michèle Flournoy about the expanded economic and political influence of China and how might Joe Biden break thro...
By Michèle Flournoy
America’s increasing focus on rivalry with China ensures that U.S. Africa policy will continue to be viewed, at least in part, through a China lens....
By David Shullman & Patrick Quirk