Since the 1990s, when the Soviet Union collapsed and the founder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Il Sung, died, experts have warned that the North Korean regime was on the brink of collapse. And since the 1990s, the experts have been wrong. North Korea has been remarkably resilient in the face of war, international sanctions, famine and natural disaster. Twice has a system that supposedly functioned only by the will of its supreme leader transferred power to a chosen successor, and in doing so it has created a dynasty that is, for better or worse, unlike any other. Now, under its third leader, Kim Jong Un, the grandson of the founder, it is commanding the world’s attention like never before. In the following report, we set forth to answer a simple question: What explains the longevity of the government in Pyongyang?
North Korea as we know it was created by an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1945. Before
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