Kim Jong Un has not been seen in North Korea for weeks and rumors are churning with reports about his health and possible death. The 36-year-old supreme leader was notably missing during a national ceremony on April 15, the birthdate of his late grandfather and founder of the communist country, Kim Il Sung. Right now, the world has more questions than answers. Is Kim Jong Un alive? Who would succeed him in power? What does this mean for human rights and religious freedom in this persecuted country? Jeff Pickering and Travis Wussow welcome back Olivia Enos, a senior policy analyst in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, to share her insights to this strange situation.
This episode is sponsored by The Good Book Company, publisher of Where is God in a Coronavirus World? by John Lennox
Olivia Enos serves as a senior policy analyst in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation specializing in human rights and transnational criminal issues. Enos has published numerous papers on human trafficking in Asia, human rights in North Korea, and reforming the U.S. refugee program and writes a bi-monthly column in Forbes. Her commentary has appeared in The Washington Post, The National Interest, The Diplomat, and Real Clear World, as well as numerous scholarly publications. She has also appeared on Fox News, CNN, and the BBC. She earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Patrick Henry College in Virginia, and a master of arts in Asian studies at Georgetown University.
Resources from the Conversation
- ERLC | Capitol Conversation Podcast
- Follow Olivia Enos on Twitter
- Olivia’s report | Responding to COVID-19 in Southeast Asia
- Bruce Klingner’s report | Greet Rumors of Kim’s Demise With Caution and Vigilance
- ERLC’s film | Humanity Denied: Religious Freedom in North Korea
- Kim Jong-un’s mysterious family tree by Brennan Hoban at the Brookings Institution
- 3 Scenarios for Kim Jong Un’s Mysterious Absence by Duyeon Kim, Leif-Eric Easley at Foriegn Policy
- Train Spotted at Kim Jong Un’s Wonsan Compound by Martyn Williams, Peter Makowsky, and Jenny Town at 38 North