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  •  Kim Jong-il's death: 4 questions about 'dear successor' Kim Jong-un

    Kim Jong-il's death: 4 questions about 'dear successor' Kim Jong-un

    The third son of North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il appears well on his way to succeeding his father, in name if not in style and substance. He will lead the committee in charge of the funeral on Dec. 28 and will then be referred to as “successor.” Just when he will assume the real titles held by his father is a matter of intense speculation. Past precedent suggests a wait of as long as three years, according to Korean custom. For now, Kim Jong-un, 28 or 29 years old, faces the prospect of manipulation by high-ranking relatives and generals. “He’s very much an untested quantity,” says Shim Jae-hoon, a political analyst in Seoul. His lone qualification, according to Mr. Shim, is that “he symbolizes the house of Kim” – a reference to his grandfather, long-ruling “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung, who died in 1994, and his father.

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  • North Korea leader gives thumbs up to 'Rocky,' Disney characters (+video)

    Mini-skirts, guitars, a dancing Winnie the Pooh, and the theme song to "Rocky." Is this North Korea? A televised gala performance for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un marks a cultural shift.

  •  Kim Jong-il's death: 4 questions about 'dear successor' Kim Jong-un

    Kim Jong-il's death: 4 questions about 'dear successor' Kim Jong-un

    The third son of North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il appears well on his way to succeeding his father, in name if not in style and substance. He will lead the committee in charge of the funeral on Dec. 28 and will then be referred to as “successor.” Just when he will assume the real titles held by his father is a matter of intense speculation. Past precedent suggests a wait of as long as three years, according to Korean custom. For now, Kim Jong-un, 28 or 29 years old, faces the prospect of manipulation by high-ranking relatives and generals. “He’s very much an untested quantity,” says Shim Jae-hoon, a political analyst in Seoul. His lone qualification, according to Mr. Shim, is that “he symbolizes the house of Kim” – a reference to his grandfather, long-ruling “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung, who died in 1994, and his father.

  • Photos of the Day Photos of the Day 04/15

    People throw vermillion powder on one another to celebrate the Nepali New Year, also known as 'Sindoor Jatra' at Thimi, near Kathmandu.

  • North Korea: New clues about who will replace Kim Jong-il

    North Korea: New clues about who will replace Kim Jong-il

    In a rare meeting of parliament Monday, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il increased the political influence of his brother-in law. The move is seen as supporting the leader's heir apparent – his youngest son – and curbing any power plays within the military.

  • Opinion North Korea's defiance puts Obama in a corner

    Its nuclear and missile tests are a setback for the president's concept of engagement with rogue nations.