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Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Next in North Korea: More Internal Instability, More External Hostility

December 26, 2011, 1:00 PM
Kim_jong_un2_from_big_think

What's the Latest Development?

The post-Kim Jong Il future of the world’s most repressive regime, North Korea, remains uncertain, writes Sung Chul Jung. But successor Kim Jong Un is likely to consolidate his political power by sticking to his father’s (and grandfather’s) strategy, often called the “diversionary tactic.” This involves using military force to divert public attention from domestic affairs.

 What's the Big Idea?

If Kim Jong Un doesn't have enough of a power base to control North Korea, it could provoke a big power conflict among factions and international debate on the need for intervention. The biggest decision won't be whether to use military force or form a multi-national alliance, but what direction to take after the Kim Dynasty’s end. "Iraq after Suddam Hussein has shown us that building a nation can be much harder than a military victory."

 

Next in North Korea: More I...

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