Kim Jong-un is smarter and more strategic than one would assume, suggests Isaac Stone Fish of the Guardian. He theorizes that Kim's seemingly erratic decision are actually precisely calculated. The North Korean leader’s foreign policy of aggressive saber-rattling ensures that other countries will stay away, asserts Stone Fish. With nuclear arms at his disposal and appearing unhesitant to use them if need be, Kim is ensuring deterrence. Stone Fish speculates that this air of potentially violent unpredictability makes China and South Korea more open to economic interaction, whether it be through trade or aid.
Kim Jong-un’s erratic behavior is a far cry from his predecessor’s calm stoicism and might not work out in the long term, hypothesizes Stephen Evans of the BBC. He highlights Kim executing those around him, including his uncle Chang Song-thaek, as a strong deviation from previous dogma. The North Korean regime has survived hardships, whether on its people or politics, thanks to the undying commitment of party leaders to Kim. Having them fearing sporadicly being executed can affect this loyalty and even invite coups, asserts Evans. In his opinion, Kim’s volatility might be the reason for his eventual demise.