Is North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un in charge?
Or is the country’s military leadership running the show?
The agreement, celebrated as “a major breakthrough in the years-long standoff over the future of North Korea’s nuclear program,” stipulated that North Korea would halt its uranium enrichment program, and allow international monitoring of its nuclear sites in exchange for the provision of 240,000 tons of food aid by Washington.
However, in defiance of the agreement, Kim Jong Un – the 29 year old son of the country’s previous leader, Kim Jong Il – launched a satellite just weeks ago, and is signaling plans for a nuclear weapons test.
Jong Un made clear to U.S. negotiators that his country “had the right to launch a satellite and that such a launch shouldn’t be treated the same as a missile test.”
This, along with other “acts of defiance” by the North Korean government since the death of Kim Jung Il, has U.S. officials questioning “whether Kim Jong Un has the same degree of control as his father,” and wondering if it’s North Korea’s military leadership that is “emerging as an alternate power center with different, and more hawkish, policy objectives.”
A foreboding thought, with no answer forthcoming given the isolated nature of the country.
Do you think we should be more concerned about nuclear-ready North Korea, or not-yet-nuclear Iran?