The Hermit King: The Dangerous Game of Kim Jong Un, by Chung Min Lee

The Hermit King: The Dangerous Game of Kim Jong Un, by Chung Min Lee

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North Korea is poised at the crossroads of history. Which direction will its leader take?

Throughout the world, oppressive regimes are being uprooted and replaced by budding democracies, but one exception remains: The People's Republic of North Korea. The Kim family has clung to power for three generations by silencing dissidents, ruling with an iron fist, and holding its neighbours hostage with threats of war.

Under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, North Korea has come closer than ever to creating a viable nuclear arsenal, but widespread famine and growing resistance are weakening his regime's stability.

In The Hermit King, Asian geopolitical expert Chung Min Lee tells the story of the rise of the Kim Dynasty and its atrocities, motivations, and diplomatic goals. He also discusses the possible outcomes of its aggressive standoff with the world superpowers.

Kim Jong Un is not a crazed "Rocket Man" or a bumbling despot; he has been groomed since birth to take control of his country and stay in power at all costs. He is now at a fateful crossroads. Will he make good on decades of threats, liberalize North Korea and gain international legitimacy, or watch his regime crumble around him?  

“Full of insights too often missed in the recent focus on North Korea's nuclear threat and Trump-Kim summitry. Lee not only highlights the history, culture and context that has shaped Kim Jong Un, but explains why Kim faces an enormous ‘Catch-22’ in pursuing economic transformation of his country while maintaining his grip on power. A stimulating and highly readable contribution.” - Kathleen Stephens, former US Ambassador to South Korea

“A chilling portrait of a littler understood, often underestimated leader.” - Booklist