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Monday, December 19, 2011

Adakah Kim Jong-Un Layak Menggantikan Mendiang Ayahnya? (Brisbane Times)

Enigma ... Kim Jong-il's son, Kim Jong-un. Photo: AP

TOKYO: Kim Jong-il's death has immediately shifted the world's focus to his likely successor, his youngest son Kim Jong-un. If the planned succession proceeds without a hitch, the little-known, Swiss-educated Mr Kim will be the leader of a nuclear state racked by instability. Reports from North Korea said the country's 24 million people had already begun to rally around Mr Kim, who has officially been the communist state's leader-in-waiting for little more than a year.

Little is known about Kim Jong-il's third son, who is believed to be 28 or 29; reports from Pyongyang suggest his ailing father had spent the past year grooming Mr Kim, whom the state media are now calling ''the great successor'' for leadership of the world's most isolated nation, where his father was the Dear Leader and his grandfather the Great Leader.

Mr Kim is believed to have accompanied his father on a trip to China in May, apparently in an attempt to win support for his succession from Beijing, North Korea's only remaining ally and a major aid donor. The North Korean state media has mentioned Mr Kim in glowing terms, amid fears that his succession could meet with resistance from the upper ranks of the powerful Korean People's Army.

It is possible that Mr Kim, who lacks the years of political experience his father enjoyed before becoming leader in 1994, will initially act as the figurehead of a regime run by influential members of the ruling party, says Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

''Chances that the North Korean military is attempting a coup are very low,'' he said.
South Korean media have reported that Jang Song-taek, Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law and a trusted member of his inner circle, had been acting as a mentor to Mr Kim in anticipation of a more steady transition of power.

If he does become the third member of his family to lead North Korea, Mr Kim will face immediate challenges. The regime has recently been seeking tens of thousands of tonnes of aid amid reports of serious food shortages this winter. He will also face renewed pressure to end North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Two nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009, sparked international sanctions that have placed the leadership under serious financial strain.

Kim Jong-il passed over his first and second sons as potential successors, but there are suggestions that he was never convinced that Kim Jong-un would make a successful leader. Early this year his eldest son, Kim Jong-nam, told a Japanese newspaper that his father opposed continuing the family dynasty, but had named his youngest brother heir to maintain stability.

In a country that, despite its communist doctrine, retains a Confucian respect for seniority, Mr Kim could have expected to give way to his older siblings, but reportedly emerged as his father's favourite after impressing him with his single-mindedness and leadership qualities.

The leader-in-waiting, who shares his father's chubby frame, is said to have excelled during his schooling at skiing and basketball, and learned to speak English, German and French.

In a 2003 book, Kenji Fujimoto, a Japanese chef who worked as Kim Jong-il's personal cook before fleeing back to Japan, described Mr Kim as ''a chip off the old block, a spitting image of his father in terms of face, body shape and personality''.

Mr Kim's presence at North Korea's biggest-ever military parade, in Pyongyang in October last year, was taken by some to mean that he had been accepted by the leaders of the country's 1.2-million strong army. It remains to be seen how the North Korean establishment and the country's impoverished people react to his possible accession. In leaked US embassy cables published by WikiLeaks last month, South Korean analysts warned the Assistant Secretary of State, Kurt Campbell, of possible instability arising from a botched succession.

Source (Kopi Pasta): Brisbane Times
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