Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The reliable Tony Chang has an interesting (and anonymously sourced) story in Yonhap concerning the possible succession of Kim Jong-un. I am not holding my breath until, perhaps around the year 2012, when we hear the footsteps of the Morningstar General traipsing to the rostrum to receive General-Secretary Kim’s blessing. The primary reason is not Mr. Kim’s age, but the fact that he possesses neither the patronage network nor the gravitas that his father had in 1994.
As a matter of course you will not hear much from this chicken about the young Mr. Kim. There is a dearth of reliable information about him, and there is enough information about more important individuals within the North Korean leadership (those tasked with managing a succession). A further note about succession; Kim Jong-un will not enjoy the same status as his grandfather or his dad. Rather, by most indications Mr. Kim will most likely function as a figurehead with collective power organs (in the form of the National Defense Commission and Korean Workers’ Party) supporting him.