South Koreans react to the death of Kim Jong Il.
South Koreans react to the death of Kim Jong Il. Getty Images - Chung Sung-Jun

Kim Jong Il's 'Great Succesor'

WITH the sudden death of his father, Kim Jong Un went from being North Korea's "Respected General" to "Great Successor" a heady and uncertain promotion for a young man virtually unknown even to the North Korean people just a year ago.

Word of Kim Jong Il's death, announced yesterday two days after he suffered a fatal heart attack, thrusts his 20-something son in the spotlight as the future head of a nation grappling with difficult nuclear negotiations and chronic food shortages.

Within hours of breaking the news of his father's death, state media urged the nation's people to rally around Kim Jong Un and to "faithfully revere" their next leader.

The son has not appeared publicly since the announcement of his father's death.

The death speeds up a succession process that began in earnest a little more than year ago, scant time to gain experience, build political clout and allay skepticism at home and abroad that he can lead a nation of 24 million.

Read more on the NZ Herald


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