Despite backing of key Workers' Party officials, Kim Jong-un seems to be unpopular among North Korean citizens.
The struggle to name a successor to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il appears likely to climax in a historic conference next week. The conference, the first in 44 years, is slated for Sept. 28. Debate among North Korea’s leaders over anointment of Mr. Kim’s third son, Kim Jong-un, is widely believed to have delayed the meeting. Just because delegates will be gathering for the conference is no guarantee that it will end in announcement of a leadership lineup. Whatever the outcome, it is certain to provide fodder for speculation about the future of North Korea after Kim leaves the scene. As North Korea heads into this meeting, here is a good idea of who might be in positions of power after Kim Jong-il steps down:
Kim Jong-il is widely reported to be hosting a rare political conference in North Korea – but what is really happening remains a secret.
South Korea pledged $8.4 million in humanitarian aid Tuesday. Kim Jong-il apparently procured little aid from China on his recent visit.
Kim Jong-il's visit to China comes as Jimmy Carter visits Pyongyang to seek the release of an imprisoned American.
On Jimmy Carter's last run to North Korea 16 years ago, I saw Carter in Seoul before he returned to the US. He spoke quietly, even matter-of-factly to explain he'd won the promise of a freeze of the North's nuclear program.