Becoming Kim Jong Un

Pages: 336
Subject: Biography, Politics
Imprint: Oneworld

Becoming Kim Jong Un

Understanding North Korea’s Young Dictator

Jung H. Pak

The first book from a former intelligence community insider
9781786077165 (4 Feb 2021)
RRP £20.00

The Book

The mysterious, brutal, and calculating Kim Jong Un has risen to become the unchallenged dictator of a nuclear rogue state. He now possesses weaponry capable of threatening America and its allies, and his actions have already significantly changed global politics. It's believed that Kim Jong Un is in his thirties, only a few years into what will likely be decades of leadership. He is in the news almost every day, and yet we still know almost nothing about him and how he became the supreme leader of the hermit kingdom.

Former CIA analyst and North Korea expert Jung H. Pak reveals the explosive story of Kim Jong Il's third son: the spoilt and impetuous child, the mediocre student, the ruthless murderer, the shrewd grand strategist.

Additional Information

Subject Biography, Politics
Pages 336
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Jung H. Pak was a senior analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and America's Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Korea. She is now Senior Fellow and SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies at the Brookings Institution, a prominent think tank in Washington DC.


How did a lazy, basketball-loving kid become the world's shrewdest tyrant by the age of twenty-six? Jung H. Pak's brilliant analysis strips away Kim's cult, bluster, and caricature to reveal a mind that is quite chillingly rational, with a rat-like cunning for out-smarting his enemies, be they close family members or nuclear-armed states. Easily the most insightful portrait of the man behind the propaganda. 

- D. B. John, author of Star of the North