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Growing Up Fast, Dictator Style

The time comes when every dictator-in-training must put away simple dreams of power and grab at the real thing. This concept is not only featured in The Dictator's Handbook, it's also something that can be seen in almost every autocrat's life. Augustus at Actium, Alexander at Vergina, Hitler after the beer-hall putsch ... these were moments when the drive toward one-man rule was finally, completely unchained. And it's happened again, this time in North Korea. 

Giving myself a hand

Yes, Kim Jong Un has now grown up, officially, and joined the big boys with a bloody purge of rivals within his regime. He confirmed the end of his apprenticeship with his very public and choreographed removal and liquidation of his uncle, Jang Song Taek. Such a move concentrates power more fully in Kim's hands while also sending a unmistakable message--Kim Jong Un is all  grown up now, thank you very much, and his enemies can expect to be treated as roughly as his uncle was (including having their demise announced on the evening news). 

How robust is Kim's 'growth spurt?' His attempt to wipe his uncle's existence from cyberspace seems to indicate that he's growing firmly into his father's (and grandfather's) shoes.  

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