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Asia Blog

2011: Post Nuclear Tragedy, Three Inspiring Environmental Shifts in Japan

Lifestyle

This is part of a series of year-end posts on Asia Blog written by Asia Society experts and Associate Fellows looking back on noteworthy events in 2011. You can read the entire series here.

French: Why Kim Jong Un Should Mourn Until 2013

Kim Jong Un (C), dubbed the
Policy

Paul French, author of North Korea: The Paranoid Peninsula, says "we shouldn't expect anything of substance to come out of Pyongyang for a year."

Videos/Tweets: Weeping and Laughing for the 'Dear Leader'

Crowds in Pyongyang mourn the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on Dec 19,  2011. ( Korea's Korean Central News Agency)
Multimedia

North Koreans have entered 12 days of mourning in honor of their longtime leader Kim Jong Il — a complex dictator known as much for pursuing nuclear weaponry while his people starved as his zippered jumpsuits and obsession with Hennessy cognac.

Gilholm: Kim Jong Il's Death Reduces Regime's Life Expectancy

A portrait of the late Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Joseph A Ferris III/Flickr)
Policy

Kim Jong Il's reported death on December 17 is the biggest shock to the country's regime since the passing of his father in 1994. Forecasting what will happen to an authoritarian regime after a leadership succession is inherently rather speculative, and nowhere is this more true than in North Korea. However, we can venture a few observations, and in very broad terms estimate the probability of various types of scenarios.

Stumpf: Kim Jong Il's Death an Opportunity for US, China

The front pages of Tokyo's major evening newspapers report the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on December 19, 2011 in Tokyo. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

It would be understandable if, observing the post-Kim Jong Il era, the United States, China, South Korea and Japan saw more peril than promise. However, the history of North Korean negotiation indicates a small possibility of progress toward peace on the Korean peninsula and North Korea’s denuclearization.

Photo of the Day: Kim Jong Il and His Generals

Multimedia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il meets with Korean People's Army personnel in September 1988. He died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday at 69. (AFP/Getty Images) (More coverage from Asia Society)

Lintner: North Korea's King is Dead, But the Military Still Rules

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il waves from a car after the meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at Sosnovy Bor Military Garrison, Zaigrayevsky District, Buryatia outside Ulan-Ude on August 24, 2011. (Dmitry Astakhov/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

The King is dead! Long live the King! The old European cry when a monarch died and a new one took over was meant to prevent any argument over succession and make sure the throne was never empty. And this could just as well apply to North Korea today. Kim Jong Il had already a year before he died anointed his successor, his youngest son Kim Jong Un.

Experts React: North Korea's Kim Jong Il Dead at 69

The flag of the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) flies at half-mast in front of the embassy in Berlin December 19, 2011, following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.  (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

Asia Society Associate Fellows Charles Armstrong and John Delury offer instant analysis on the death of Kim Jong Il and its implications for the region.

Kulma: Kim Jong Il's Death Adds to Regional Uncertainty

A South Korean activist paints on a caricature of Kim Jong Un, the youngest son and heir-apparent of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, during a rally denouncing the communist country's third-generation dynastic succession in Seoul on October 14, 2010. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

The news out of North Korea that leader Kim Jong Il has died, while surprising, is not completely unexpected. Faced with serious health concerns over the last few years, the North Korean leader began to put in place a plan for his son to take over the reins of power.

Desai: A 'New Chapter' For North Korea?

South Korean protesters participate in a rally celebrating news of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on December 19, 2011 in Seoul, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Policy

Will Kim Jong Il's passing open up a new era of reform as we have seen recently in Myanmar? Or will there be further restrictions on its people?