A new Dictator Down! Thanks to Heart Attack !
Real power in North Korea now probably belongs to a coterie of advisers following the death of Kim Jong-il, not his youngest son, an untested man in his 20s who has been anointed the “Great Successor.”
These advisers will decide whether North Korea launches military action against South Korea to strengthen the succession around Kim Jong-un — or seeks a peaceful transition.
Confucian respect for age and the influence of the military means the younger Kim lacks the untrammeled authority of his father or grandfather, North Korean founder Kim Il-Sung.
The most powerful adviser is Jang Song-thaek, 65, brother-in-law of Kim Jong-il.
Jang is a survivor of the bloody tradition of purge and political rehabilitation that kept the two elder Kims in power for more than six decades.
“Jang has played a considerable role during Kim Jong-il’s illness of managing the succession problem and even the North’s relations with the United States and China,” said Yang Moo-jin of the University of North Korean Studies.
“Jang is in overall charge of the job of making it formal for Kim Jong-un to be the legal and systematic leader by pulling together the party and the military.”
Jong-un is Kim Jong-il’s third known son and was given official titles only last year. He was hailed by state media this week as the “Great Successor” to his father, who died on Saturday of a heart attack.
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