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In North Korea, Kim's Rumored Ill-Health Renews Succession Fears

Apr 21, 2020 | 18:46 GMT
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from his car after arriving in Vietnam on Feb. 26, 2019.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from a car after arriving in Vietnam on Feb. 26, 2019. 

(Linh Pham/Getty Images)

Recent reports of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's failing health have once again raised concerns around succession and regime stability, particularly as he has no children old enough to succeed him. Kim, however, has gone missing in the past, and there are few other signs of a brewing political or social crisis in North Korea that would indicate an imminent end to his reign. Indeed, in the coming days or weeks, he may again be spotted watching rocket launches through his binoculars, or visiting a construction or factory site to show his care for the people. But it is nonetheless still important to review succession scenarios due to the outsized risks of such a political transition in Pyongyang. ...

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