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Blood lines that refuse to dry
The latest news on who all are expected to succeed Kim Jong-Il

It is always interesting to see how a dictator runs his state (as an outsider, obviously!), and all the more interesting to see is how he transfers his power. North Korea is a pristine example. The Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) held a political meeting on September 28, 2010, the biggest political meeting for North Korea since 1980, when Kim Jong-il, the current leader of North Korea took his official charge to succeed his father Kim II-Sung, the founder of North Korea. Interestingly, this meeting also introduced a new heir as Kim Jong-il’s health deteriorates.

It was Kim II-Sung who founded and freed the nation from the reign of Japan during the WW-II. He ruled till 1994 when he died. But before his death, he created enough space for his son Kim Jong-il. His brother Kim Pyong-il, who was an equal contender, was tactfully sidelined. The time is different now but the debate is the same – succession. There were only two contenders then. Now, there is a power struggle not only between Kim Jong-il’s three sons – Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-chul and Kim Jong-un – but also his daughter Kim Sul-Song. More importantly, Chang Sung-taek, Kim Jong-iI’s brother-in-law can also be a threat.

If news is to be believed, Kim Jong-il prefers to see his youngest son Kim Jong-un as the emerging leader, as he believes in the same ideology and aggression as his father. The party meeting on September 28, 2010, has appointed Jong-un as a general, which seems to further the speculation that the military endorses the viewpoint of Kim Jong-il. When and if Jong-un finally takes over, not much can still be expected in terms of national transformation. Both Koreas are virtually on war. The North won’t give up the nuclear program and the US will keep imposing new sanctions. China will also keep on helping the North, tacitly or otherwise as before. The ending line in this story remains as was expected – dour!

By:- Akram Hoque

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