More and more North Korean elites think dictator Kim Jong Un is a weak leader, according to new research published Thursday from Rand Corp. citing senior officials who have defected.
“Kim Jong Un appears increasingly to the elites as ineffective and not a particularly good leader, which is likely how he’s viewed now,” said Bruce Bennett, senior defense analyst at research organization Rand. “Other than North Korea’s weapons and [the] ballistic missiles of this regime, Kim Jong Un doesn’t really have a lot to make him feel empowered,” Bennett said, noting that recent events such as the murder of the dictator’s older half brother show how the leader is “clearly paranoid.”
Moreover, if Kim were to die suddenly, North Korea’s elites would probably not choose a successor from Kim’s family, ending their dominance since the state’s founding more than half a century ago, Bennett said, based on his interviews with …