Scholar and senior journalist Kim Hakjoon provides a timely analysis of the rise of the Kim Il Sung family dynasty and the politics of leadership succession in Pyongyang, including Kim Jong Il’s death and the advent of his son Kim Jong Un. Drawing on official North Korean statements and leaked confidential documents, journalistic accounts, and defector reports, the book synthesizes virtually all that is known about the secretive family and how it operates within a bizarre governing system. Particularly valuable for a Western audience is the author’s extensive use of South Korean studies of the Kim family, many of which have not been translated into English. Dynasty is insightful reading for officials, journalists, scholars, and students interested in the Korean Peninsula and its prospects.
Kim Hakjoon is president of the Northeast Asian History Foundation, a state-sponsored research institute on international relations and historical issues among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, and the United States. Kim previously served as the president of the University of Incheon and president of the Korean Political Science Association. He has written extensively on North Korea and South Korean politics. He is currently on leave as the endowed chair professor of Korean studies at DanKook University, South Korea.