Current Publications

Kim Jong Un’s 2019 New Year’s Address: Dropping a Strategic Bombshell

Rüdiger Frank

Kim Jong Un gave his much awaited 2019 New Year’s speech on the morning of January 1. Considering the many breakthrough events of the past year, there was not much room left for a big surprise. His speech included the usual message of recognition and gratitude to the nation, duly mentioning various professions and highlighting some of the major construction projects of the year, such as the Wonsan tourism zone and Samjiyon County. He repeated his willingness to freeze the nuclear program, demanded that sanctions are dropped, and extended invitations for cooperation to South Korea and the United States. But was it all business as usual? No. There was one remark that carries a hugely significant strategic meaning way beyond the narrow scope of the year 2019, as will be discussed after looking at a few noteworthy formal aspects.

Department of East Asian Studies
38 North
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
Political economy
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