As Kim Jong-il's struggles to hold onto a crumbling North Korea, the US and South Korea can expect more calculated provocations – even displays of nuclear power. But rather than appease Kim with diplomatic concessions, now is the time to exploit those weaknesses with smart sanctions.
Analysts in South Korea believe President Lee’s surprise call for six-party talks will bring the parties to the table since China and North Korea have both been calling in recent weeks for resumption of talks.
Monitor staff writers and correspondents in each of the world's regions share what they expect to be top headlines in 2011.
North Korea is seen as an unpredictable 'spoiled child.' Iran is seen as a rational but aggressive nation. Each have nuclear programs, but pose unique problems for US security.
Some analysts believe that Kim Jong-il's exiled oldest son is just waiting to see if his younger half-brother Kim Jong-un can do the job – but could return to rule North Korea.
Hwang Jang-yop, the highest-ranking North Korean defector, was eulogized as a hero by South Korean conservatives Thursday after his passing on Sunday.
North Korea leader Kim Jong-il's oldest son, Kim Jong-nam, said he is 'personally opposed to the hereditary transfer' of power to his half-brother, Kim Jong-un.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told a gathering of reporters that dynastic succession in North Korea for Kim Jong-un appears assured.
Despite backing of key Workers' Party officials, Kim Jong-un seems to be unpopular among North Korean citizens.
Kim Jong-un is expected to appear alongside his father, Kim Jong-il, at the military parade, marking another major step in his emergence.