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The Answers: North Korea by Jeremy Kourdi

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Introduction

The events that unfolded in the four months after the death of Kim Jong Il (Kim Jeong-il,1 1941–2011) on 17 December 2011 present a kaleidoscope of themes that run through contemporary North Korean affairs.

On 8 January, with the country subdued in 100 days’ mourning, a crudely edited but triumphant hour-long documentary was broadcast on North Korean television, marking the birthday of new leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Jeong-eun, born circa 1983). Entitled “Inheriting the Great Undertaking of Mount Baekdu’s Military First Revolution”, the film opened with a crimson-orange sun rising from behind misty mountains, before cutting to the wide-of-girth Kim Jong Un astride a dapple grey, cantering along a dirt road, beneath a blue winter sky. ...

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