Just a mini-update for anybody prowling this blog right now. The condition of current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is questionable, with a Japanese newspaper reporting that he is in a vegetative state and a Chinese News Executive claiming he is dead. Apparently China has sent a medical team to see to his well-being after undergoing heart surgery. This is a really big deal, and if he is in fact dead would signal a significant foreign policy change following the coronavirus pandemic. The person most likely to succeed Kim Jong Un would be his sister Kim Yo Jong, who took over for a short period in 2014 when he was dealing with a health issue in 2014. South Korean officials, it should be noted, have said that they have not seen any indication of unusual activity by the North Korean leader. Would Kim Yo Jong perpetuate the authoritarian structure of North Korea and pull back on the nuclear program that Kim Jong Un has been investing heavily in? Would this change of leadership make a unified Korea any more likely? In any case, the potential lasting impacts of the death of Kim Jong Un could be significant, though what they could be would only really be conjecture at this point.
Stay healthy folks.