According to the TV report, the elder Kim, age 69, had died the previous Saturday while on his private luxury train, on his way into the countryside to inspect local facilities and provide personal “field guidance.”
The elder Kim had apparently suffered a stroke back in 2008, and reports had indicated that the “Dear Leader” was experiencing recurring health problems. He had begun grooming Kim Jong-un to take the reins of power, including promoting him to the rank of four-star general despite his total lack of military experience.
Little is known about the young successor, including how much power he will actually have and now much loyalty and obedience he can expect from the all-powerful North Korean military.
The Communist-ruled “hermit kingdom” will most likely continue its nuclear weapons programs. In addition, the elder Kim’s doctrine of songun or “army first,” which has led to food shortages and recurring famines among the general civilian population, is likely to continue as well.
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