The health condition of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un is a topic lots of ordinary folks and analysts of political and security developments concerning the affairs of the Korean peninsula have always relished. More than normal news from journalists, any news concerning the health of Kim Jong-Un brings about such fervor due to the simple fact that he is the leader of a country armed with nuclear warheads and where any little disorder in the country could bring in a significant security challenge.
This naturally also brings speculation about what might take place in case he suddenly gives up the ghost. Any kind of prediction which is authoritative concerning what might unfold after his death is nearly impossible to make due to the insignificant amount of information available. But even with that, some simple certainties exist that we can at least use to analyze the issue critically.
Mostly clearly is the nature of the North Korean government which is structured around a dynasty. There have been three continuous generations of the Kim family that have led North Korea and now it is almost a surety that this trend will continue in the future. Due to this, another member of the Kim family will most likely be tasked with filling in the vacuum left by the void of Kim Jong-Un if he dies.
There exist however a small number of candidates to actually draw from. Kim Jong-Un has already shed the ranks of his own kin since he assumed leadership of the country in 2011. He purged his uncle Jang Song-Thaek in 2013 and also ordered the assassination of his half-brother Kim Jong-Nam four years ago.
Kim Jong-Un has an elder brother still alive called Kim Jong-Chul but this man is an unlikely person to be entrusted with leading the country as their father passed him on for Jong-Un. He has reportedly not displayed any kind of propensity to lead and has shown features that one might not expect to find from the leader of a state like that in North Korea.
Kim Jong-un is reported to have three children with his wife Ri Sol-Ju, with the eldest child believed to be a male. His firstborn is said to be around 10 years and even no public information is available concerning his children.
Kim Jong-Un’s sister, Kim Yo-Jong has in recent years taken a much active role in the North Korean top brass. The country is still a highly patriarchal society and questions remain on how she will be perceived as a leader of the country.