Author Moises Naim on Kim Jong Un’s Troubles


In a continuation of his broadcast interview with the PBS NewsHour’s Ray Suarez, author and former Foreign Policy editor Moises Naim talks about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un challenge to hold power in a world where democracies seem to be overtaking autocracies.

“It is becoming harder for him, for people like the North Korean government and the North Korean leader to stay in power. He can get away with it … but the number of autocracies has been plummeting” in the wake of forces like the democracy movement of the Arab Spring, said Naim, author of the recently released “The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be”.

More unconventional leaders of democracy, people like Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, made headway because they were able to mobilize the energies, hopes, desperation and political power that were against the more dominant structures of power — South Africa’s apartheid and Myanmar’s military junta, Naim said.

China offers another complicated picture. It has succeeded in lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, he continued, but now has an emerging middle class that is placing strains and demands on the government that “are in many ways undermining its ability to be that superpower that people fear.”

Watch Ray Suarez’s interview with Moises Naim on Thursday’s NewsHour. View more of our World coverage.