Worldwide Locations

Worldwide Locations

The Death of Kim Jong Il


North Korean leader Kim Jong Il meets with Korean People's Army personnel in September 1988. He died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday at 69. (AFP/Getty Images) 

The North Korean dictator's death on December 17, 2011 has profound implications both for Asia and the world. In the articles below, Asia Society experts weigh in from a variety of perspectives on Kim's passing and what it likely means for the long-isolated North Korean nation and its neighbors.

On January 23 Asia Society New York is also presenting a panel discussion in its HBO Hotspots series, "Ending North Korea's Nuclear Program," with Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth, the United States' Special Representative for North Korea Policy, and Asia Society Associate Fellow Charles K. Armstrong, Professor of Korean Studies at Columbia University. Click here for complete details on that program.

Stephen W. Bosworth: It's Not Just North Korea That Makes U.S. Engagement Difficult

Policy The former U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy explains the many factors involved in diplomatic outreach between the two countries.
January 24th by Rebecca Chao |

North Korea's Political Transition (Complete)

At the dawn of Kim Jong Un's reign in North Korea, experts assess the prospects for American engagement and the threat posed by the country's nuclear program.
January 24th by Jeff Tompkins |

Reflecting on North Korea’s Political Transition, One Month On

Policy Perhaps what is most clear about North Korea’s future is that it remains murky, writes Andrew Billo.
January 20th by Andrew Billo |

Video: Revisiting South Korean Thoughts on the Death of Kim Jong Il

Policy First person reactions to the late North Korean leader, plus a Jan. 23 Asia Society New York event on the future of the country.
January 20th by Nadia Rasul |

Moon: New Actors and New Demands for North Korea

Policy Many outside North Korea are restless and ambitious to push for change according to their own agendas, writes Katharine H.S. Moon.
December 29th by Katharine Moon |

Jae-Seung Lee: The Moment of Truth for the Two Koreas

Policy Kim Jong Il's death has created a critical opportunity for the two Koreas to figure out a roadmap for the coming years, writes Korea University's Jae-Seung Lee.
December 22nd by Jae-Seung Lee |

Lee: With Kim Jong Il Dead, a Chance to Normalize Inter-Korean Relations

Policy Kim Jong Il’s death provides North Korea with the opportunity to change direction, writes former South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hong-koo.
December 21st by Lee Hong-koo |

Lho: Helping North Korea Escape From a 'Self-Imposed Hell'

Policy On the occasion of Kim Jong-Il's demise, a look back at where the two Koreas are, 60 years after a devastating war.
December 21st by Kyongsoo Lho |

Whiting: During This DPRK Changeover, South Koreans Not Hoarding Rice

Policy South Koreans reacted to news of a North Korean dictator's death more calmly in 2011 than they did in 1994, writes Yonhap News Agency's Devin Whiting.
December 20th by Devin Whiting |

Lee: 'Nasty Palace Politics and Back Stabbing' Could Destroy Kim Jong Un

Policy Kim Jong Il's youngest son is about to be crowned the "Great Successor," but too many rivals are still around, writes Former Seoul bureau chief for Newsweek Byung Jong Lee.
December 20th by Byung Jong Lee |