Kim Success a “20-30%” Shot

“Together, the likelihood of the succession system itself being overturned and the chance of the whole North Korean system including the succession system entering a state of mortal crisis is around 60-70%,” NKNet researcher Kim Young Hwan told a conference organized by Daily NK in Tokyo yesterday.

Speaking at Daily NK’s ‘Reporting Conference’, Kim continued, “The likelihood of the Kim Jong Eun succession system being established smoothly is less than 10%, and the chance of the basic succession system itself being maintained while coming up against various serious difficulties is around 20-30%.”

“The fact that there is no choice but to proceed with the succession process at high speed despite the fact that Kim Jong Eun is young and inexperienced is the North Korean leadership’s decisive weakness,” he added, noting, “That the rapid succession process itself undermines the order and rank of the North Korean upper class means that it can arouse the resistance of a significant number of cadres.”

“For the last ten years or more they have been lazy about gluing the cadre class together, have missed a number of moments when cadres should have been replaced, and have relied too heavily on some ageing cadres,” he said. “The chances of Kim Jong Il showing the kind of strong leadership of the past to today’s cadres of various ages is not high.”

“It is even less plausible to expect young and unprepared Kim Jong Eun to be able to solve complex political problems,” he went on.

That North Korea, which claims to be a bastion of communism and a ‘People’s Republic’, would be in the process of reinforcing the understanding that it is simply an absolutist dynastic monarchy is also bound to inflate criticism, Kim further commented.

“The persistent question from the young, most notably the students, is whether this is really the best way forward,” he said, noting, “While it is true that those in North Korea accept the 3rd generation succession as an inevitability, those who go out of the country and regularly hear from Chinese people that ‘A 3rd generation succession in a communist state is utter nonsense’ will readily change their minds.”