How Kim Jong-un’s death could change North Korea’s political landscape amid heath rumours

The dictator reportedly suffered from complications in surgery, leading to multiple reports that he is in critical condition or had passed away. However, this has not been confirmed by North Korea.

Zhu Feng, Director of the Institute of International Studies at Nanjing University, wrote an article in the National Interest suggested that the country could undergo a period of reform similar to China.

Feng said: “(Kim Jong Un’s death) could be largely history-making, and perhaps history breaking.

“Looking back to China’s history, there was only less three years later that Deng Xiaoping’s China inspirationally declared a “reform and open-up” policy after Mao Zedong was dead in 1976.”

Zhu Feng however has poured water on this theory, saying that even if the leader had passed, it would be unlikely that the country would experience sudden change.

Feng wrote: “North Korea has been from its birthday a power-succession regime centering on Kim Il-sung’s family—a broadly propagandised as hefty, holy and destined “kings” of the country.

“Even with Kim Jong-un’s sudden passing, there is quite little denial of such a political establishment.

“North Korea’s hereditary system will quite likely not break up with Kim Jong-un’s sudden death.

“As for how that inheritor would redirect North Korea into a new path, or continuously insist on Kim’s trajectory to embrace nuclear weapons while conditionally engaging Republic of Korea and the United States, we have to wait and see.”

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The writer goes on to suggest that Kim’s passing could destabilise the tense diplomacy between North Korea and it’s adversaries such as the United States and South Korea.

“More importantly and ironically either of the two big powers—the United States and China—may squander their rare chance to reinforce cooperation and unity.

“Instead, the pandemic witnesses their mounting escalation of conflicts.

“The Trump Administration’s China-bashing and spired hostilities from Capitol Hill have tremendously compounded Beijing’s suspicions as to what the real purpose of America’s China policy is, and at least, are infuriating the Chinese in a fightback.

“As long as growing tensions between Beijing and Washington are concerned, any uncertainty out of North Korea might trigger a new wave of geopolitical wrestling in the region.

“Thus, the geopolitical ramification of Kim’s sudden death would be likely ominous.”

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South Korean ministers have claimed that they are aware of the dictators location.

Kim Yeon-chul, South Korea’s unification minister, has now said: “The government is aware of Kim Jong Un’s location.”

The minister gave no further explanation as to what that means for his status and wellbeing.

Kim Yeon-chul hinted that the leader may be laying low to avoid catching coronavirus.

The National Assembly Research Service said in a report released on Wednesday that they believe the leaders sister, Kim Yo-jong, is most likely to take over the throne in the event of his death.

The report read: “From early this year, Yo-jong has received the spotlight for active roles, including announcing official messages to South Korea and the US, standing in for Jong-un.

As an individual political figure, she has virtually taken on the role of the party’s center to undertake the responsibility of the party’s monolithic leadership system.”

The report, however, added that Yo-jong’s rise to top leadership would not occur immediately, requiring another official process after Jong-un returns to the spotlight.

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