Analyzing the Structure and Performance of Kim Jong-un's Regime

As Kim Jong-un begins his sixth year as leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), it is appropriate to shift the focus from his moves to consolidate power to the impact that the organizational and staffing changes made under his leadership have had on the operations and efficacy of the system he leads. Toward that end, Stanford’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the Republic of Korea’s Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS) have prepared a joint paper utilizing the complementary resources of both institutions. This paper summarizes the findings and insights from this collaboration. We focus on personnel and organizational changes, and the economic performance of North Korea.