December 06, 2023

On the Succession Process

With the Party Conference now under way, it seems increasingly evident that Kim Jong Il has appointed his youngest son, Kim Jong-Un, as successor as North Korean leader.

Commentators on the North Korean system have expected this for some time.  Ever since Kim Jong was rumored to have been hospitalized, even incapacitated, following a stroke in 2008, attention has focused on which of Kim’s three sons (a son-in-law along with a high ranking military general, O Kuk-ryol, had also been mentioned as possible successors but would appear to have been ruled out) would succeed him as leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.