That was a surprising headline to see when I woke up. Kim Jon Il dead? That could be a huge shakeup. At least we had him pretty well contained. What about his son, Kim Jong Un who will now takeover power?
Kim Jong Il ruled as an absolute dictator of North Korea. While many in his country barely had the basic necessities to survive, Kim Jong Il enjoyed the luxuries of life. Being somewhat paranoid of the rest of the world, Kim Jong Il used most of the country’s resources to build the 4th largest military in the world, including becoming one of the very few countries to have a nuclear weapon.
Already there are serious questions as to what this means to the world. Stocks have already started to decline across the world as uncertainty about North Korea’s transition takes hold. Expected talks over food aid and nuclear weapons with North Korea are already being delayed by the latest news. The question everyone wants to know is, who is taking over and what does that mean?
Little is known about Kim Jong Un, who will takeover as leader of North Korea. What we do know is that he is 27 years old, and he was chosen by his father to takeover because Kim Jong Il said, “that boy is like me.” It is rumored, though not confirmed that he was educated in Switzerland, which has some hoping that his western education could change things drastically for the better.
So what does this mean long term? No one knows and that is what has people spooked. For the most part North Korea was contained while Kim Jong Il was in power. They amassed a huge arsenal and military while he was there, but the never used that power in any significant way. Now with a new and much younger leader in charge, anything could happen. That is precisely why everyone is on edge this morning.
As a side note, 2011 has been a pretty good year for the elimination of bad guys in the world. First Osama bin Laden, then Muammar Gadaffi, and now Kim Jong Il. Maybe Fidel and Hugo will go before New Years? If so, that would be a record year!