Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 301–316 | Cite as

From Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un: nuclear impasse or diplomatic opportunity?

  • Er-Win Tan
  • Geetha Govindasamy
Original Paper


The recent death of Kim Jong Il and the succession of his son, Kim Jong Un, as Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea leaves the Northeast Asian region at a crossroads. Given the younger Kim’s lack of political experience, it is reasonable to believe that his priority will be on consolidation of his political and military power base in Pyongyang. More recently, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has sent mixed signals with regard to its intentions. On the one hand, North Korea has agreed to a moratorium of its nuclear activities and has even invited the IAEA to inspect its nuclear facilities; at the same time, however, the DPRK has also announced its plan to launch a satellite in mid-April, using technology derived from the Taepodong missile. Set against this backdrop, we underline and comparatively assess the importance of the USA, the Republic of Korea, and China, all of which will be going through a political transition in 2012. We conclude that Seoul and Beijing are in the best position to reopen the process of dialogue with the DPRK.


Korean Peninsula Bush Administration Agree Framework Clinton Administration Obama Administration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International and Strategic StudiesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of East Asian StudiesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Monash Asia InstituteMonash UniversityVictoriaAustralia

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