Rather than the prosperous state Pyongyang promised for Kim Il-sung's centennial celebrations in 2012, Kim Jong-il's shortsighted economic policies leave his son in a position in which Jong-il found himself in 1994 - inheriting a nation facing famine. The capital's relative luxury has indirectly caused soaring food prices and the young Kim Jung-eun is faced with the insurmountable challenge of controlling inflation.
In addition, with winter setting in, North Koreans may also have to make the difficult choice between fuel and food. If the inflationary pressures remain, vast portions of the population will starve or freeze to death by the end of the winter.
The danger lurking around the corner is the possibility of North Korea falling back on anti-Americanism to channel the public's distress away from the falling living standards. It will not be a particularly difficult task as the state propaganda apparatus has already pointed to US-led sanctions as the key source of the country's hardships.
According to some sources, Kim Il-sung engaged in provocative actions in 1968 precisely because of this: to convince the people that sacrifice was necessary for national security.
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