Upon his father's death in December 2011, Kim Jong-un assumed power. After Kim assumed supreme leadership of North Korea, he reportedly executed or removed many senior officials that he had inherited from his father’s regime.Among those purged was his own uncle, Jang Song-thaek (also known as Chang Sŏng-t'aek), who is believed to have played an important role during Kim Kim Jong-il’s rule and had been considered one of Kim Jong-un’s top advisers.Kim Jong-nam had been living in exile for many years, during which time he served as a vocal critic of his half-brother's regime.Under Kim Jong-un's authority, North Korea continued its weapons-testing programs.The act was roundly condemned by the international community, including the United States, Russia, Japan and China.In the face of further sanctions, analysts stated that Kim's continued focus on armament while calling for U. peace talks was a strategy of positioning North Korea as a formidable entity and cementing his standing as a regional leader.
The launch drew swift condemnation from Japan and South Korea, while President Trump tersely noted, "We will take care of it."Kim subsequently struck a more measured tone during his New Year's Day speech to open 2018, in which he stressed the need to "lower the military tensions on the Korean Peninsula" and suggested he would send a delegation to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea.“The Chinese government resolutely opposes and strongly condemns this,” the ministry said in a statement.“China will work together with the international community to comprehensively and completely implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council of the UN, unswervingly push forward the denuclearization of the peninsula, and unswervingly maintain the peace and stability of the peninsula,” it added.By September 2016, the country reportedly conducted its fifth underground nuclear test, despite a history of sanctions imposed by the U. Other countries staunchly denounced the move and called for North Korea's denuclearization, with South Korean president Park Geun-hye particularly concerned about the security implications of the continued weapons testing and Kim's mental state. The two exchanged numerous threats of warfare, and even took to personally insulting the other.In February 2017, North Korea launched what its state media described as a medium long-range ballistic missile, with Kim said to be present at the site to supervise. Kim notably butted heads with Donald Trump after the latter's election to the U. In November 2017, during a stop on a tour of Asia, President Trump took a softer stance, urging North Korea to "come to the table" to discuss disarmament.