onsdag 29. april 2020

Could Kim Jong-un’s uncle, who spent decades abroad, become the next North Korean leader?

For about as long as North Korea has existed, Kim Pyong-il has been considered a possible successor to the leader. And now, with his nephew Kim Jong-un’s health status unclear, his name is being bandied about again. Kim Pyong-il, 65, is the last known surviving son of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung. After losing out in the 1970s to his half-brother, Kim Jong-il – who ended up running the country from 1994 to 2011 – Kim Pyong-il spent about four decades overseas in diplomatic posts including in Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic before returning to Pyongyang last year.

Although Kim Pyong-il has been effectively sidelined – he was largely purged from state media and never developed enough power back home to mount a serious challenge for leadership – some North Korea watchers say he could end up taking over from the 36-year-old Kim Jong-un, who has not named a successor. This is mainly because he has Kim blood, and he’s a man.