North Korea: Whither Kim Jong-un in 2015?


The audio and transcript from the event "Whither Kim Jong-un in 2015?" a seminar presentation by Ambassador Kim Sook, the 2014-15 Pantech Fellow in the Korea Program, and former Republic of Korea Ambassador to the United Nations.

Last year was relatively quiet in inter-Korean relations, with no further North Korean military provocations against the South and no nuclear tests conducted. Then, on New Year’s Day this year, for the first time since he came to power on his father’s death, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un publicly expressed his willingness to hold an inter-Korean summit meeting “if the atmosphere and environment are ready." At the same time, he continued to emphasize the importance of his regime’s policies of “military first” and byeongjin, the simultaneous development of nuclear weapons and pursuit of economic growth. What are Kim’s real intentions? Can inter-Korean dialogue actually resume? Can the Six-Party Talks to denuclearize the North be restarted after a six-year hiatus? Sook Kim, a former South Korean nuclear negotiator with North Korea, ambassador to the United Nations, and deputy director of the National Intelligence Service, will explore what the year 2015, the seventieth anniversary of Korea’s division, may hold for inter-Korean relations and the North Korean nuclear problem.