Time has proven that both Bashar and Raul are just as brutal -- if not even more -- than their predecessors.
Add North Korea's Kim Jong-un to that list.
This weekend, media outlets expressed "shock" at Kim's highly-publicized execution of his uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, who was believed to be North Korea's second most powerful person.
Of course, the "shock" is of their own irresponsible making.
Does this all sound familiar?
[Y]oung Kim, who spent a few years as a teenager going to school in Switzerland, may be willing to acknowledge the blindingly obvious: that what North Korea has been doing for decades economically doesn't work, and that there are plenty of examples right in the neighborhood — South Korea and China most obviously — that over the same period have gotten a lot of things right economically.
Young North Koreans are suddenly wearing chic outfits, men gel their hair like South Korean actors, and private markets have more flexible opening hours. Do these tiny differences signal a change in course by the country's new leader, Kim Jong Un?
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called for a "radical turnaround" in the impoverished country's economy in a rare New Year's address that also appeared to offer an olive branch to South Korea.
From New Republic:
In terms of the survival of his regime, the least perilous short-term option for Kim Jong-un is, in fact, to expand economic and political ties with China, while launching modest reforms to capitalize on newly designated special economic zones.
But hey, no worries -- for we were just reassured:
A senior North Korean official said yesterday that the execution of leader Kim Jong-un’s once-powerful uncle will not lead to changes in economic policies and vowed that the nation would push ahead with an ambitious plan to develop new economic zones.