Experts Predict Power Struggle When Kim Jong-il Dies

      August 12, 2010 07:55

      Kim Jong-il's death will result in a power struggle among various factions of the ruling clique in North Korea rather than a smooth succession for his designated heir Kim Jong-un, experts predict. The experts were responding to a survey by a group calling itself the World Futures Forum on prospects for North Korea and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

      Some 52.3 percent of respondents predicted a power struggle if Kim dies in the near future. A mere 30 percent said his third son and heir apparent Jong-un will succeed his father, while 18.2 percent predicted that a third powerful person will take power.

      The experts believed even if he succeeds his father, Kim junior will find it difficult to concentrate all the power in his hands. Some 71.7 percent said he will share power with other figures, and 23.9 percent said he will be overthrown as the power struggle intensifies.  

      "Kim Jong-un's associates will eventually hold more power as he will have to rely on them because he is young and lacking in political and government experience," the group said.

      As for reunification, half of the respondents predicted the nation will not be reunified in the next 20 years. Some 36.4 percent said reunification is possible within a decade, and 9.1 percent within five or even three years.

      Most or 62.2 percent of respondents said the North will collapse and be absorbed by the South. A whopping 87 percent even believed that the reunification will benefit South Korea to a great extent.

      A total of 46 North Korean affairs and unification experts from 23 universities, think tanks and media companies took part in the survey.

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