The sudden death of his father ten years ago saw Kim Jong-un take over the reins of North Korea. It was a challenge for the young leader, and he has managed to remain in power for a decade. He has had to face world leaders who were more experienced, leaving a mark on the world. He wanted recognition for his country as nuclear power, and his testing of atomic missiles put him apart as a leader with a difference.

Kim Jong-un ruled with a firm hand and quashed possibilities of a military coup by timely actions. The leader has ensured that his authority is absolute with a larger-than-life personality.

His interaction with former U.S. President Donald Trump was a strategy that could have paid rich dividends. The two leaders, separated by age, met in Singapore in 2018. It was a summit where Kim Jong-un gained stature and Trump gained status as a man of peace. They wanted to evolve a formula of peace in the Korean Peninsula. They had more meetings at other venues but could not arrive at an acceptable solution. Trump's priority was denuclearization, but Kim wanted sanction relief.

The economy is the main worry for Kim Jong-un

With a decade of experience behind him, Kim Jong-un has to find a balance between the global sanctions, the Coronavirus pandemic, and the economy. These are interlinked. He wants to develop his nuclear weapons arsenal while worrying about the economy's health.

When the pandemic struck, he immediately closed the border with China to prevent the spread of the infection. China is North Korea's main trade partner and the closure had a direct impact on business. The economy suffered. He has to think out of the box to strike a balance.

Kim Jong-un could try to reopen negotiations with the U.S.

The present administration of President Joe Biden appears to be in no hurry to have dialogues with Kim Jong-un. The U.S. wants the North to wind down its nuclear weapons program. Kim Jong-un looks at his nuclear programs as a guarantee of survival.

The NPR describes the dilemma of Kim Jong-un.

He has a tough task to balance keeping his nukes and bringing prosperity to his people. He has suspended the testing of nuclear devices and long-range missiles for three years. However, he has continued to test weapons of a shorter range that could threaten South Korea and Japan, allies of the United States. In January, a news report mentioned that Kim Jong-un wanted to pursue the easing of sanctions with President Joe Biden.

Revival of the nuclear negotiations could help Kim Jong-un

According to Business Standard, there are possibilities that Washington could make available COVID-19 vaccines to Pyongyang. That could be a starting point to revive the long-stalled nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

This is as per an official of the National Intelligence Service of South Korea. In his words: "I believe that if the U.S. rather more audaciously proposes providing its vaccines, momentum could be created to bring North Korea back to talks." Since last year, the country has imposed a strict border lockdown and claimed coronavirus-free. It seems a global vaccine distribution platform assigned doses of vaccines to the North, but Pyongyang has not yet responded. In the official's opinion, the North might have expected some benefits in the form of easing sanctions. Over the past four years, it exercised restraint on testing its nuclear and long-range missiles and had hoped for some reward.