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Video Event | Understanding the Hermit Kingdom: Assessing North Korea's Future

Video Event | Understanding the Hermit Kingdom: Assessing North Korea's Future

Please be advised: This event will be premiering at 12:00 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, April 29.

The past two weeks have reminded the world of the enigmatic nature of North Korea’s regime. Besides longstanding questions about the predisposition of its nuclear weapons, questions now arise about Kim Jong Un’s whereabouts and health status.

The uncertainty over North Korea’s ruler allowed a similarly broad spate of analysis about succession, and if Kim’s 32-year-old sister Kim Yo Jong might take the reins of power. Uncertainty also remains about U.S. readiness in the event of a transition and the true scope of COVID-19 within the secretive country.

Apart from the questions surrounding Kim, on Monday, South Korea held a quiet ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the Panmunjom Declaration, which President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim issued to great fanfare after their first summit meeting. Their pledge of “irreversible peace” remains stated policy, but it is far from clear that North Korea is serious about diplomacy with South Korea. The Kim regime’s diplomatic intentions with the United States appear even more dubious. Missile tests and other military drills, as well as conflicting reports about whether Kim had sent President Donald Trump a “nice note,” have punctuated recent relations.

While Kim may intend to wait on negotiations with Washington until after the November election, will he attempt a provocation or diplomatic gambit before that crucial political contest? Join Hudson Institute for a conversation on the future of North Korea and the latest on U.S. negotiations.


Patrick Cronin

Asia-Pacific Security Chair and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

David Maxwell

Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Dr. Lee Seong-hyon

Director of Center for Chinese Studies, Sejong Institute

Jenny Town

Fellow and Deputy Director of the 38 North Program, Stimson Center

Hudson Experts