Does the North Korean leader have an heir apparent for his successor? I think he was hidden even during his studies in Switzerland. Is there any heir apparent?

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    This article might be helpful. It points toward no, there is no heir apparent. To help with context, the current leader was only implied to be heir just the year before his father died – katatahito Jul 1 '19 at 4:54

Under dynastic considerations, either the eldest child or the eldest son of Kim Jong-Un would qualify. There seems to be at least one child, possibly a daughter, according to a BBC report.

Since they are under-age, Kim Yo-Jong might lead a caretaker government until they are old enough.

But that applies dynastic logic to what is not, formally, a monarchy. By persistent reports, the OGD is a central conduit of power from Kim to the WPK and the DPRK. Or one of the Vice Chairmen of the WPK might be well positioned to follow Kim. Much depends on the political dynamics of the change.

  • Kim Jong-Un appears healthy. He could have several decades left to rule. By then, children and other relatives will be older.
  • Do people in the DPRK believe that Juche and Kimilsungism is possible without a Kim?
  • It seems that the military and government administration are firmly under party control. This might change.
  • According to your link, “There are those, most prominently the defector Jang Jin-sung, who currently argue that the leaders of the OGD are the real leaders of North Korea, [...] Michael Madden of the North Korea Leadership Watch disagrees, claiming instead that the OGD implements the directives of the Supreme Leader, and is not powerful enough to introduce directives itself.” Your statement seems a little strong relative to what your source is saying. I don’t know enough about the state of NK scholarship to have an opinion, but your statement as it stands needs stronger backing. – KRyan Jul 1 '19 at 14:59
  • @KRyan, my statement was easy to misunderstand. I was trying to say that Kim rules through the OGD, not that the OGD rules Kim. That would still leave the OGD well placed in a power struggle.I was thinking e.g. of this 38North article. – o.m. Jul 1 '19 at 16:09
  • "Under dynastic considerations, either the eldest child or the eldest son of Kim Jong-Un would qualify. " It's worth noticing, that Jong-Un himself is not the oldest son. It's the dictator who makes the rules, so dynastic considerations might not apply very much, if at all. – Tero Lahtinen Jul 1 '19 at 16:21
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    @TeroLahtinen, see my third paragraph. While the DPRK might look like a monarchy to outside observers, it is not quite the same. – o.m. Jul 1 '19 at 16:24
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    @Arsak, added a news report from the BBC. I'd call that a good source as far as news go. – o.m. Jul 1 '19 at 16:25

Kim Jung Un himself was actually the 3rd born son.

He is still a man in his early 30s. If he lives to the average life expectancy of a modern homo sapiens in the 21st century, his heir (he is believed to have a little girl) should not expect to inherit to position until 2060.

It would seem a bit unlikely that dynastic rule can endure on in the age of AI, and whatever else that is coming down the pike..

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    What has AI got to do with it? – Polygnome Jul 1 '19 at 22:22
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    I see no reason to think dynastic rule can't survive because of developments in computing. As long as their are hierarchies there will be people who want to stay at the top and people who keep them there. – StephenG Jul 1 '19 at 22:22
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    The only part of this that actually answers the question is "he is believed to have a little girl", and it would be great if you could provide a source for that. The rest is totally irrelevant. – F1Krazy Jul 1 '19 at 22:46
  • He weights 140kg and maybe 170cm, and a strong smoker. This is not a guarantee for a long life. But some decades, yes, he still likely has. – Gray Sheep Nov 18 '20 at 1:15

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