North Korea after Kim Chong-il: Leadership Dynamics and Potential Crisis Scenarios
CNA Anlaysis and Solutions Alexandria United States
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In August 2008, Kim Chong-il reportedly suffered a stroke. On October 4, after a 51-day absence, he reappeared in the pages of the North Korean media, bringing to an end speculation that he had died. While the international media spotlight began to fade, this incident raised serious questions among intelligence analysts and policymakers alike from Washington, DC to Seoul and Beijing. What would have happened if Kim had died in a period in which the regime had not worked out the succession What kind of leadership configuration would emerge Could the regime sustain itself or would it collapse into chaos Even though the regime has subsequently taken steps to deal with such an eventuality, many of these questions remain.