Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Experts differ over prospect of power succession: North Korea

Some raise possibilities of power struggles among elites.

Experts are divided on whether the third-generation power succession in North Korea will be smoothly carried out following the death of its leader Kim Jong-il.

Opinions differed over whether the hereditary transfer of power to his third son Jong-un would face any obstacles in the communist state, which Kim had ruled with an iron fist since his father and national founder Kim Il-sung died in 1994.

Some argued that the process will proceed as planned given years of “systematic” preparations, while others floated possibilities of power struggles among the elite given his lack of experience and a relatively short grooming period.

The North claims that Swiss-educated Jong-un, who was internally tapped as heir apparent in 2009, was born in 1982. Kim Jong-il had 20 years of preparation before taking power, while it has been only several years since Jong-un started being groomed. Read More