Inside the Hermit Kingdom
The grim present and uncertain future of North Korea
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Kim Jung-un has big shoes to fill.
His grandfather Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea, was so omnipotent that the constitution was amended after his death to keep the preserved corpse of the "Supreme Leader Eternal" nominally in power.
His father Kim Jong-il had 25 years to prepare to take over but his sudden death last December robbed the younger Kim of the chance to annoint himself with the dynastic myth of his forbearers. The sudden ascension of the young Kim has placed a new focus on North Korea with its nuclear capability and the world’s fifth largest military. Will Kim Jong-un resort to brute violence to assert his authority?
Peter Goodspeed, the National Post’s senior international affairs writer and a veteran of two tours of the ultra-secretive nation, takes you inside the hermit kingdom.