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The Great Successor: Anna Fifield

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Show Notes

When Kim Jong-il died in 2011, the world held its breath as North Korea entered uncharted waters. No other communist dictatorship in the last century – for that matter no other autocratic state that is not a monarchy – has been able to successfully transfer power to a third generation. Some analysts in Washington and elsewhere raised the possibility of the country collapsing in mere months.

But when that didn’t happen, a new theory arose – would he be the great reformer to lead North Korea to the community of nations? 8 years on, that has not yet happened either.

We still know so little about the North Korean leader – and so much of how we think of Kim Jong-un comes from media portrayals, the parodies, and assumptions amalgamated from our knowledge of other autocrats.

But a new book provides the first comprehensive and readable study of the incumbent North Korean leader. Written by the veteran Washington Post correspondent Anna Fifield, the exhaustively researched new book, titled “The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un” provides a more rounded picture of the first North Korean leader to meet the U.S. president.

Anna Fifield (@annafifield) came to KEI and sat down with KEI President Ambassador Kathleen Stephens – in fact, just before the Trump-Kim meeting on June 30, 2019 – for a brief chat.

July 5, 2019