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
CommentaryBolton memoir: guide for how not to negotiate with North Korea
Even self-serving interpretations of history can be useful....
By Van Jackson
CommentaryNavigating Sino-Russian Defense Cooperation
Cooperation between China and Russia has grown. The alignment of their interests and convergence of their efforts is amplifying the challenge they pose to the United States....
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, David Shullman & Dan McCormick
CommentaryHow Jewish Americans can help stop China’s genocide of Uighur Muslims
Beyond economic action, the U.S. must take a more unequivocal stance on the atrocities in Xinjiang....
By Coby Goldberg
CommentaryInstitutional Roadblocks to the Defense Department’s Adoption of AI
Bureaucratic inertia, stemming in part from deep-rooted institutional and cultural resistance, has hampered DoD’s ability to rapidly develop, acquire, and deploy AI capabiliti...
By Megan Lamberth & Martijn Rasser