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
CommentaryTrump, Racism, and the Military
Throughout his administration, President Trump has misused the US military to advance his racist and discriminatory political priorities. He has used the Department of Defense...
By Susanna V. Blume
Congressional TestimonyHearing on the Crisis in Hong Kong: A Review of U.S. Policy Tools
Submitted Written Testimony Chairman Crapo, Ranking Member Brown, Honorable Members of the Committee— It is an honor to be asked to testify to you today on an issue of critica...
By Peter Harrell
CommentaryChina's post-Covid 19 'techno-nationalist' industrial policy
While Covid-19 brings China one step closer to technology-perfected authoritarianism through improvised health apps and real-time surveillance, Europe is busy looking inward. ...
By Rebecca Arcesati & Martijn Rasser
PodcastHong Kong Crisis
China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong to deter and punish what it calls “acts of secession or subversion.” Daniel Kliman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Asia-P...
By Daniel Kliman