In the two years since he came to power, Kim Jong Un has wrought significant changes on North Korea. Few of those changes have benefited his 24.76 million subjects.
1. Personal life - Previous leaders of North Korea have kept their wives and girlfriends firmly in the background. Kim Jong Un has torn that rule up and began to parade Ri Sol Ju around from mid last year, just six months after inheriting the leadership of the nation from Kim Jong Il. Ri is regularly pictured accompanying her husband on his "inspection tours" of industrial and entertainment facilities. Ri vanished from sight in October of 2012 and apparently gave birth to a daughter around the end of the year.
2. Gulags expanded
- Satellite images show that the regime has embarked on a vast expansion programme of its already extensive network of labour camps and prisons, which hold as many as 130,000 inmates in appalling conditions. A report by Amnesty International this month suggested that new housing blocks have been built at Camp 16, which covers some 560sq km in Hwasong County.
- To stamp out any form of dissent, Kim has become even more intolerant of alternative opinions than his famously stern father. According to intelligence reports from South Korea, there were 17 public executions in 2012, the first full year that Kim was in power. The most prominent execution to date this year has been Jang Song Thaek, Kim's uncle and mentor and an official so high in the national hierarchy that he was believed to be untouchable. More heads are likely to roll.
4. Star-struck - A huge fan of basketball, Kim believes he is in with the NBA crowd after enticing Dennis Rodman, the former US basketball star, to North Korea twice.
5. Economic policies - Long reliant on China to survive economically, Kim gave hints in his early days in power that he would try to introduce similar liberalisation measures that have helped turn China into an economic powerhouse. International trade was initially affected by United Nations sanctions imposed after missile and nuclear tests, but that appears to have recovered in recent months.
6. Projects for the people - Previous generations of the Kim dynasty simply did not care very much about the wellbeing or happiness of the people; money went to the armed forces, under the "military-first" policy, or was spent on luxuries for the elite in society. Apparently influenced by the years he spent at a private school in Switzerland, Kim has apparently decided to spend some of the nation's cash on projects to keep the people happy. Or at least the privileged few who are loyal to the regime and permitted to live in Pyongyang. A brightly coloured water park has opened in the capital, residential districts have been spruced up and new hospitals, schools and gyms constructed.
7. Relations with China - Kim's father and grandfather were scrupulously careful not to offend their huge neighbour and the country that saved their regime in the 1950-1953 Korean War. Kim Jong Un seems more willing to thumb his nose at Beijing, which applied a great deal of pressure on the young leader not to launch a rocket in December 2012 and then to follow that up in February of this year with North Korea's third underground nuclear test. That pressure came to nought and the Chinese leaders would have been embarrassed by their inability to bring Kim to heel. Their displeasure was demonstrated by their support for UN sanctions on Pyongyang - which North Korea did not expect. But diplomatic relations and economic ties returned to normal within a matter of months.
8. Defectors - Kim Jong Il staged occasional crackdowns on would-be defectors, but this has been raised to new levels under Kim Jong Un. Additional army units have been posted to the border to supplement frontier police.
9. Missiles and nuclear warheads - North Korea has always used its nuclear and missile programmes as bargaining chips when dealing with the rest of the world. Under Kim Jong Un, the reactor at Yongbyon has been restarted and the media are now describing the nuclear project as the nation's "shield for self-defence".
10. Rhetoric - North Korean state media are in a state of verbose frenzy with the public purge of Jang and his subsequent execution, but the Korea Central News Agency has gradually been stepping up its verbal assaults over the last two years. There have been repeated threats to turn Seoul into "a sea of fire" in threats reminiscent of propaganda of the 1930s and 1940s, but more menacing because they are coming from a nuclear-armed regime that many analysts believe would go down fighting if it sensed that its time was up.