Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69 over a tenuous battle for his health. From what I’ve read he died of a heart attack and it has been on every or most front-page news websites, and naturally I’m very curious about the situation, or I’m following mostly what is to follow.
According to some sources that I have read Kim Jong-il’s successor is likely to be Kim Jong-un. Although the eldest brother Kim Jong-nam, which according to Korean tradition should be the next in-line, however isn’t, as Kim Jong-un has been crafted for the role as the next Dear Leader from what I’ve gathered.
Reports in the past few years have shown that Kim Jong-un as likely the successor considering he was promoted to a General not so long ago. This prompted international media outlets to run articles about what would happen if a situation like this occurred.
At the moment South Korea’s military is on high alert, during the announcement of his death, the stock markets were in emergency with the thought ‘something’ could happen; although unlikely. That ‘something’ was likely based on the fear or the change in politics in the North, this fear could have been based on military action from the North. This was again based on the new leader having to prove himself on the stage, however now it seems unlikely an attack will occur and perhaps things are ‘business as usual’ in the Korean peninsula.
The state run KCNA has also stated Kim Jong-un as the “Great successor”, further solidifying his role as the “Great Leader”. Analysts have been saying that Kim-Jong-un may do something radical, in order to prove himself to senior leaders high up in the North Korean leadership. What may occur is just guess work at the moment.
Korean state news television, as translated by the BBC:
Who is Kim Jong-un?
Left, a piicture of Kim Jong-un, the next leader of North Korea. In good terms with the North Korean military, with loyal hand picked general’s by his father, he has been setup in a very comfortable position.
In his late 20’s and not known much about him, there is wide speculation over the future of North Korea. The media have even stated that he is too young to lead, under the pretext that he has no experience in leading.
However there is that possibility of him being crazier or more power hungry. – Although I don’t see how that would change the situation in the North as the power seems to be absolute at the top. The world will just have to wait and see about his leadership.
President Barack Obama and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon have already spoken to South Korea’s president Lee Myung-bak to give assurance that the situation is being monitored at higher levels than previous.
What’s next for North Korea?
The likelihood of Kim-Jong-un doing something drastic in my opinion is not high at the moment. My belief, if this new leader has any brain, would be to try and re-engage with the rest of the world, try and build up relations with the South. Whatever the case, the North Korean issue, has always been a little unpredictable. My guess is that, the North will continue to suffer economically unless there is an apparent change in the style of leadership in the country.
The beginning of Kim Jong-il’s funeral
Kim Jong il’s body on show:
Kim Jong il body carried by a Lincoln Continental, with a display of over 1 million North Korean’s weeping:
Thousands perhaps in the ten’s of thousands line up along a cold winter day in Pyongyang, a large escort of German made cars (Mainly Volkswagen and Mercedes), escorting the deceased “Dear Leader” who is being transported in a Lincoln Continental. The scenes are quite spectacular in their own way actually, considering the perfect alignment, in military presentation posture, with hundreds of thousands with their heads bowed.
Those many people who are on the streets, appear to be wailing at the death of Kim-Jong-il, in the same fashion as we saw when Kim-il Sung, the “Supreme Leader” or “Great Leader” died in 1994.
The question remains, are the people of North Korea brainwashed or are they in fear of their life that they have to do this, or otherwise face consequences.
Either of those two are pretty plausible.
It would be nice to see a free North Korea, where people can state their own opinions, rather than government regulated one’s, whatever the case, it is unfortunate what the North Korean people have been placed under.
We look at those crying, in videos like the above, however in other places in North Korea, there remains a population of people in starvation, dying of hunger and perhaps being forgotten of.
Alas it is China that defends North Korea, meaning nothing will be done, unless a coupe were to take place.
No change in relations (30th of December 2011)
North Korea has announced through state television through its “National Defence Commission”, that the world and South Korea would see no change in relations, the statement read:
“We declare solemnly and confidently that the foolish politicians around the world, including the puppet group in South Korea, should not expect any change from us,” – North Korea state TV announced.