Why the Kim regime just won’t die: a primer

With a spate of missile test launches in January, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has moved back into the consciousness of the broader global community. Some observers may be asking, “You’re still here? Why?” 

Seemingly against the odds, the Kim regime persists. The explanation of why involves several factors, both domestic and international. Ostensibly, the North Korean regime should have collapsed by now because of multiple governance failures. 

The insistence on hereditary succession seems a serious if not fatal disadvantage. The Kim patriarch, Kim Il Sung, had considerable prestige. The Soviet government installed him in 1945 after deposing the Japanese colonial authorities in the northern half of the Peninsula.

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