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Deciphering North Korea's Transition

Author: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
December 19, 2011

Following the death of leader Kim Jong-il, the transition of power in North Korea could see Pyongyang engaging in further provocative activities, says CFR's Paul Stares. "The U.S. will be looking very closely for signs of any indication that North Korea might decide to engage in future provocations designed to strengthen the leadership transition," Stares says. At the same time, the leadership transition may open up possibilities for change, he says, recommending the United States take a more "forward leaning" approach. The United States should indicate its "willingness to engage in a more constructive dialogue than has been the case in the last few years," adds Stares.

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