North Korea: Like Father, Like Son?

North Korea: Like Father, Like Son?

Who's in charge in North Korea? Contrary to what some news coverage has suggested in recent months, the answer is obvious: Kim Jong Il.

Ever since the North Korean leader suffered a stroke in the summer of 2008, media reports have been rife with speculation that he would soon give way to a successor, or else that a struggle for power was raging in Pyongyang. Much of that speculation was idle, little of it informed, and some of it motivated.

North Korea may be opaque, but this much is clear to close observers of its hermetic ruling circles: In January 2009, Kim Jong Il designated the youngest of his three sons, Kim Jong Un, as his heir apparent, to succeed him upon his death.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.