In a move that will surprise no one, the ruling North Korea’s Workers’ Party announced Monday that Kim Jong-un will formally inherit his father’s place as Despot-in-Chief during a Party conference in mid-April. (With the transmission of supreme power underway, will Kim the younger also take on his father’s title as the world’s largest consumer of Hennessy cognac?)
Hopes that the chaos of succession would create room for some form of domestic shakeup were never particularly realistic, and they appear to be even less so now, as Kim moves effortlessly into his father’s place.
Via Meadia will keep a close eye on the transition. If Kim Jong-un follows in his father’s footsteps and continues to pursue a robust nuclear arsenal, relations among China, Japan, and the United States might come under renewed strain. With the Great Game heating up, things are about to become much more interesting around the East China Sea.