North Korea has long been a country of mystique, both provoking two nuclear crises and receiving aid from the international community and South Korea in more recent times. North Korea under Kim Jong Il examines how internal changes in North Korea since the early 1970s have structured that nation's apparently provocative nuclear diplomacy and recent economic reform measures. To understand these changes, author Sung Chull Kim uncovers relatively unknown internal aspects of the country under Kim Jong Il's leadership. His account, based on a thorough examination of primary sources, traces the origins, consolidation, and dissonance of North Korea's systemic identity. He reveals how official and unofficial developments in the domains of North Korea's politics, ideology, economics, and intellectual-cultural affairs have brought about system-wide duality, particularly between socialist principles embedded in the official ideology and economic institutions. This book focuses not only upon regime change within North Korea, but also on the personal qualities of Kim Jong Il and his father. It goes beyond the usual sort of political analysis to use systems principles
Born in either 1941 or 1942, much of Kim Jong Il's persona is based on a cult of personality, meaning that legend and official North Korean government accounts describe his life, character, and actions in ways that promote and legitimize his leadership, including his birth. Over the years, Kim's dominating personality and complete concentration of power has come to define the country North Korea
In general there are two contrasting interpretations of North Korea’s provocative posture on its nuclear weapons program and the country’s launch of economic reform measures, both of which occurred in 2012. Long isolation has characterized this nation even after it’s breakdown of socialism.
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