Kim Jong Un to mark ten years in power

Kim Jong-un of North Korea celebrates today his ten year anniversary of assuming the head of the North Korean Workers’

Kim Jong Un marks ten years of being in power – Photo: KCNA via Reuters

Kim Jong-un of North Korea celebrates today his ten year anniversary of assuming the head of the North Korean Workers’ Party.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, North Korea had been struggling with economic contraction due to alienating political-economic sanctions by Western states. The pandemic aggravated North Korean economic contraction by forcing the government to implement a zero COVID-19 policy—hindering the North from trading and importing food and agricultural materials—especially with its primary trade partner, China. Decreasing military spending to overcompensate for food insecurity doesn’t seem to be Pyongyang’s plan. Since the international community is preoccupied with Ukraine, Pyongyang decided to successfully launch its largest inner-continental missile on March 25.

In the short to medium term, expect North Korea to continue working towards finishing its nuclear armament—Kim Jong-un continues to see nuclear deterrence as vitally important. In the long term, expect to see an increase in sanctions by the UN Security Council and Washington, which could aggravate North Korea’s food insecurity and pressure Kim Jong-un to pursue diplomatic negotiations. Military confrontation remains a valid option as North Korean nuclear capabilities developed significantly.

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