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Lecturer discusses North Korean political dynasty
In light of the recent death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, Dr. J. Michael Allen, Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs and Research at Zayed University, presented a lecture entitled "Like Father, Like Son, Like Grandson? Leadership Change and Continuity in North Korea," at American University of Sharjah yesterday, March 28.
Using personal experience as part of his narrative, Dr. Allen discussed the future of the Korean Peninsula and talked about the three generations of the North Korean political dynasty, from the time of Kim Il-sung to the present reign of his grandson, Kim Jong-un.
In his presentation, Dr. Allen said, "There are two sets of priorities for North Korea as a state. First, the geopolitical consideration with China, Russia and South Korea bordering the state will help direct North Korean behavior in the future. The second is the family dynamic wherein Kim Jong-un needs the support of the military as he cannot count on the legitimacy he inherits from his grandfather. The combination of the geopolitical consideration and the family dynamic will drive the future of North Korean politics."
Trained as a historian, Dr. Allen has extensive experience in international education, and has traveled widely both for his own research and to build programs and partnerships between universities. He is a specialist on East Asian history in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and has traveled numerous times to China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea.
This was Dr. Allen's second presentation at AUS.