North Korea’s Kim at critical crossroads decade into rule

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Since taking power after his father’s death in 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has spent 10 years erasing doubts that he was too young and weak to extend his family’s brutal dynastic grip over the impoverished, nuclear-armed state. But as he marks a decade in rule this week, Kim appears to be at a critical crossroads while grappling with a decaying economy worsened by pandemic border closures. Nuclear negotiations with the U.S. also remain deadlocked after Kim failed to win badly needed sanctions relief from former President Donald Trump. Experts say Kim may face difficult choices in the coming years as it becomes increasingly doubtful he will be able to simultaneously keep his nukes and develop his economy.