02 June 2009

The New Dear Leader?

The BBC and several other media sources are reporting that Kim Jong-Il has chosen his successor. And the winner is ... Kim Jong-un. This is his youngest son, and reportedly the one who most resembles his father. Kim Jong-un is relatively young, and speculation revolves around the possibility that the nuclear and subsequent missile tests of the last two weeks stems from Jong-Il's attempt to secure power and homage for his son in a culture that traditionally respects age and seniority. Reported changes in senior positions may provide evidence for that hypothesis.

Time Magazine published this fascinating little interview with Kim Jong-Il's former sister-in-law, Sung Hae Rang, who fled North Korea, and lives in an undisclosed location fearful of reprisals. The interview provides a glimpse of the total insularity and sense of divinity with which Kim Jong-un has been raised. The Telegraph has a short profile comprised of short tidbits about the 'Prince,' but in truth very little is known about the new 'Dear Leader-in-waiting.'

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