Thursday, February 01, 2007

North Korean Succession

I just came across this article on Chosun Ilbo regarding a reported sighting of Kim Jong-Nam, Kim Jong-Il's eldest son in Macau (he seems to have inherited the Kim physique). He was labeled a traitor in North Korea, and hasn't been allowed to re-enter the country.

This appears to raise questions as to what will happen upon the death of the elder Kim. I recall hearing all sorts of speculation regarding possible turmoil and instability following the death of Kim Il-Sung; even though Kim Jong-Il had been groomed for the role for over a decade. Is North Korea prepared for a smooth transition should something happen to the Dear Leader?

Also, he was reportedly labeled a traitor because he recommended that North Korea adopt economic reforms similar to those adopted by China under Deng Xiaoping. I'm assuming that he couldn't have been the only one in the North Korean government who supported such an idea. Could this mean that there is genuine discussion of such reforms?

No comments: