TOKYO (TR) – Kim Jong-il’s son will rule North Korea jointly with his uncle and the military, Reuters reported, citing a source it said is close to Pyongyang and Beijing.
Reuters said the source, which refused to be identified, has provided it accurate information in the past, including North Korea’s pending first nuclear test in 2006. Kim’s son, Kim Jong-un is not strong enough yet to fully consolidate his power despite the military giving him its backing, Reuters’s source and other analysts have said.
The plan for collective rule was put in place by Kim Jong-il prior to his death last week, according to Koh Yu-hwan, president of the Korean Association of North Korean Studies in Seoul, and cited by the news service. “The relative calm seen these few days shows it’s been effective. If things were not running smoothly, then we’d have seen a longer period of ‘rule by mummy,’ with Kim Jong-il being faked as still being alive,” Koh said.
A North Korean expert at the U.S. think tank Pacific Forum CSIS, Ralph Cossa, and cited by Reuters, said it makes sense for the isolated nation’s ruling elite to stick together for their own safety and he said there is hope the new leadership may move North Korea towards Chinese-style reform—particularly since Kim Jong-un is already believed to have built his own group of younger supporters.
The Kim family has ruled the communist nation since its creation in 1948.