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25 January 2009

Down With The King

from Strategy Page

North Korea calls itself a republic, but it is actually a monarchy. The recent illness (apparently a stroke) of 66 year old leader Kim Jong Il (the son of the dynasties founder, Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994) resulted in a decision about who in the third generation would rule the crumbling state.

Apparently, Kim Jong Ils brother-in-law, 62 year old Jang Song Taek is running the government on a day-to-day bases. Jang Song Taek is a senior official in the North Korean Communist Party (called the Korean Worker's Party, and the only party allowed, it's an organization whose 350,000 members monopolize power and prosperity), and two of his brothers are senior generals in the army.

After much deliberation, it appears that the chosen successor to Kim Jong Il would be his youngest son, 26 year old Kim Jong Un. The eldest son, 38 year old Kim Jong Nam, is apparently not interested in the leadership job. Kim Jong Un, while young, is interested in taking over, if only as a figurehead at first.

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