On the Passing of North Korea’s ‘Dear Leader:’ Kim Jong-il (1941-2011)

  • Tyler Dawson
  • Aaron Aitken
  • Yixiong Huang
  • Kristen Pue
  • Brendon Legault
Keywords: North Korea, Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-Il, Russia, China, United States, US, America, Korea, Foreign Policy


Few events have the potential to change the political landscape as dramatically as the death of an authoritarian leader, as their passing frequently leaves a power vacuum in their wake. This was certainly true of the death of Kim Jong-il, the former leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, who passed away on December 17, 2011. At this time, it is unclear as to exactly how events will unfold in Korea, as little is known about the reclusive nation. However, the collection of essays found below represent four initial perspectives on the passing of Kim Jong-il and its effect on the world.