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KEI Podcasts

Succession in North Korea: Ken Gause, Chris Steinitz

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Show Notes

After weeks of keeping the international community spellbound with his sudden disappearance and rumors of his death, Kim Jong-un has reemerged in public. But this whole event raised a very important question in people’s minds. Who would succeed North Korea’s supreme leader if he were to die?

It’s clear to even people without medical degrees that Kim Jong-un is not the healthiest bloke on the international stage – a heart attack would not be out of the question. What would happen to North Korea then? Who would command the country’s one-million strong military and nuclear arsenal?

Our guests today, Ken Gause and Chris Steinitz from the Adversary Analytics Program at CNA, outline potential outcomes.

As a quick caveat, the discussion was recorded before news emerged of Kim Jong-un’s public appearance, but the question of what might happen if the North Korean leader were to be suddenly incapacitated is still important to consider now more than ever.

You can find Ken and Chris’ article here:

Please also consider RSVPing for our event on May 12 with former US Forces Korea Commander Walter Skip Sharp:

And our event on May 13 with researchers from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on the current state of the North Korean economy:

May 8, 2020