Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea): Kim Jong-un Softens his Punch

06-11-2014

Kim Jong-un became the third leader in North Korea’s history, after succeeding his father Kim Jong-il, who died in December 2011. The succession took place smoothly and the new leader follows his predecessor's repressive political line and insists on the development of a nuclear and space programme in an effort to reinforce the country's international position and secure external aid. Pyongyang succeeded in both launching an intercontinental rocket in December 2012 and testing its third nuclear bomb in February 2013. This caused an international outcry and resulted in more UN sanctions against the DPRK regime. The situation was normalised after China imposed severe limitations to bilateral trade and financial transactions. Since last year North Korea has softened its tone, even launching a ‘charm offensive’ to appease its opponents. Two decades after the great famine that killed more than one million people, agricultural production hardly covers the population's nutritional needs. North Korea depends mainly on aid granted by China and some other donors for its survival. The country is also one of the most repressive in the world and holds a very poor human rights record.

Kim Jong-un became the third leader in North Korea’s history, after succeeding his father Kim Jong-il, who died in December 2011. The succession took place smoothly and the new leader follows his predecessor's repressive political line and insists on the development of a nuclear and space programme in an effort to reinforce the country's international position and secure external aid. Pyongyang succeeded in both launching an intercontinental rocket in December 2012 and testing its third nuclear bomb in February 2013. This caused an international outcry and resulted in more UN sanctions against the DPRK regime. The situation was normalised after China imposed severe limitations to bilateral trade and financial transactions. Since last year North Korea has softened its tone, even launching a ‘charm offensive’ to appease its opponents. Two decades after the great famine that killed more than one million people, agricultural production hardly covers the population's nutritional needs. North Korea depends mainly on aid granted by China and some other donors for its survival. The country is also one of the most repressive in the world and holds a very poor human rights record.