In a new Brookings Essay, former CIA analyst Jung Pak breaks down what we really know about North Korea's leader.
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As South Korea prepares for the opening of the Winter Olympics, tensions continue to simmer with its neighbor to the North.

Who is Kim Jong-un and what drives his behavior? In a new Brookings Essay, Jung Pak, a former CIA analyst who shaped the U.S. intelligence community’s analysis on Korean issues, explores the young leader’s vision for North Korea and explains how the United States can re-orient his dangerous ambitions:

When Kim Jong-un took power in 2011, North Korea’s collapse seemed more likely than ever. That was then.

In the years since, Kim has cemented his status as North Korea’s supreme leader. He has modernized the country’s economy and nuclear weapons program at a furious pace, despite deepening its isolation from the world.

From Kim Jong-un’s childhood of luxury and privilege in Switzerland to the test of his most powerful nuclear bomb last fall, Jung Pak’s essay provides an essential deep dive into one of the great foreign policy challenges of our time.

Read the essay and join the conversation on Twitter at #BrookingsEssay.