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

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."

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