'The Great Successor:' Understanding Kim Jong Un and North Korea

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Asia: Beyond the Headlines

Composite image of the Anna Fifield, Daniel Russel, and The Great Successor

Composite image of Anna Fifield, Daniel Russel, and the cover of The Great Successor (PublicAffairs).

The Great Successor is an insightful quest to understand Kim Jong Un. His life story is swathed in myth and propaganda, from the plainly silly claim that he could drive from the age of three, to the grim and bloody stories of the enemies and family members who have perished at his command. His behavior — and North Korea’s — have inspired fear as well as ridicule. Yet, those who relegate Kim and the “Hermit Kingdom” to a mere caricature will miss the changes and challenges from North Korea under his leadership. Kim Jong Un has defied labels. Is he a tyrant? A Great Leader? Little Rocket Man? He is the first North Korean leader to set foot on South Korean soil and has twice brought a sitting U.S. President to the negotiating table — will he be the leader that brings North Korea into the community of nations? 

Join us for a conversation with Anna Fifield, author of The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un and Beijing Bureau Chief for The Washington Post, and Asia Society Policy Institute’s Daniel Russel, on Kim Jong Un and the trajectory he has set for North Korea. What comes next after the breakdown of negotiations with the U.S. in Hanoi?


Speakers

Anna Fifield

Anna Fifield is the Beijing Bureau Chief for The Washington Post and Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leader. She is author of The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un. Previously, she was the Post's Bureau Chief in Tokyo between 2014 and 2018, covering Japan and the two Koreas. She particularly concentrated on North Korea, trying to shed light on the lives of ordinary people there and also on how the regime managed to stay in power.


Daniel Russel

Daniel Russel is Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, he most recently served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs, where he helped formulate President Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia Pacific region.


The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un by Anna Fifield can be pre-ordered at the Asia Store or through the Asia Store website.

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This program is made possible through the generous support of the Nicholas and Sheila Platt Endowment for Public Policy, and in coordination with Asia Society's Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative.

Event Details

Thu 13 Jun 2019
6:30 - 8 p.m.

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

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$15 Members; $17 Seniors; $20 Nonmembers; Free for Students with ID
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