How Kim handles the economy in the coming years could determine the long-term stability of his rule and possibly the future of his family’s dynasty

Too young. Too weak. Too inexperienced.

Since taking power following his father’s sudden death 10 years ago this week, Kim Jong Un has erased those widespread doubts that greeted his early attempts to extend his family’s brutal dynastic grip over North Korea, AP reports.

Early predictions about a regency, a collective leadership or a military coup were crushed by an estimated hundreds of executions and purges targeting family members and the old guard. That ruthless consolidation of power, together with a larger-than-life personality seemingly made for carefully packaged TV propaganda, has allowed Kim to make clear that his authority is absolute.

But as North Korea’s first millennial dictator marks a decade in rule this Friday, he may be facing his toughest moment yet, as crushing sanctions, the pandemic and growing economic trouble converge. If Kim can’t uphold his public pledge to develop both nukes and his moribund economy, something many experts see as impossible, it could spell trouble for his long-term rule.

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