North Korea: Will Kim Jong-un replace his father Kim Jong-il?

It seems he will.

Question:

Would you say Kim Jong-un is on the path to succession, and why?

Answer:

Daniel Pinkston, North East Asia Deputy Project Director, International Crisis Group

Yes, that certainly appears to be the case. There were a number of senior military officer promotions announced yesterday, including 6 people being promoted to 4-star general. Three of them were announced: Kim Jong-un, Kim Kyung-hui (Kim Jong-il’s sister), and Choi Ryong-hae (who is the second son of Choi Hyon–a first generation guerrilla fighter and former comrade of Kim Il Sung).

We will have to see what personnel changes will be made in the party, and whether Kim Jong-un will be appointed to a senior position, but that appears to be likely now.

However, he is very young, and only time will tell if he has the leadership abilities to build and maintain a coalition of supporters while also dealing with so many challenges facing the country.

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