Kim Jong-un’s death could result in multiple worst-case scenarios according to Korean expert and senior research fellow Bruce Klingner of think tank The Heritage Foundation. Chinese and Japanese media outlets have claimed the North Korean dictator has died following complications from heart surgery earlier this month. The North Korean state is yet to confirm whether the nation’s leader has died.
While on Fox News Mr Klingner said if the reports of Kim Jong-un’s death were correct the resulting power vacuum would be a cause for international concern.
Mr Klingner warned the death of the leader could result in power struggles, military faction infighting, and even the nation lashing out at its neighbour in the South.
He insisted this was particularly concerning as he said North Korea was a nation with nuclear weapon capabilities.
Mr Klingner said: “There is always a concern when you have a nuclear weapon state if you don’t know who the next leader is.
“It could be a smooth transition or it could be a power struggle where everyone is trying to grab the ring of power.
“Then it is a question of who has control over nuclear weapons and the military.”
Mr Klingner also outlined the worst possible scenarios that could occur if Kim Jong-un is confirmed, by North Korea, to be dead.
He continued: “There are a lot of worst-case scenarios.
“Things like a regime collapse and a struggle for power or unknown actions from military factions warring against each other.
He said: “We were equally concerned during the two previous successions of the father and the grandfather when they passed away.
“The system worked and there was a maintaining of stability so it is more likely the regime will maintain itself.”
There have been conflicting reports regarding the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Earliest reports of his death came from the vice director of HKSTV Hong Kong Satellite Television Shijan Xingzou who claimed a very solid source told her the North Korean leader had died.
Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Gendai argued the dictator had not yet died but is currently in a vegetative state and will not recover.
Published at Sat, 25 Apr 2020 10:01:00 +0000