Can Kim Jong Un Use the Pandemic to Restore State Control Over the Economy?   [open html - 0B]

From the Webpage: "The COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic poses major governance challenges to dictatorships and democracies alike, but it has also proven to be something of a boon to autocrats and would-be strongmen. From the imposition of rule-by-decree in Hungary to crackdowns on dissent in Uganda and Cambodia, the upheaval and sense of domestic crisis engendered by the virus has created opportunities for authoritarians to cement their grips on power. Kim Jong Un's maximal authority in North Korea's political system is already assured, but like any autocratic leader, Kim faces obstacles to the implementation of his will, from resource constraints and institutional inertia to a self-interested elite. And like other autocratic leaders, Kim seems to be using the current pandemic to try to overcome these barriers. At the end of last year, Kim signaled his desire to reassert centralized state control over the economy. The coronavirus may be providing him with an opportunity to achieve this goal."

38 North
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