Advancing a Free Society

Kim Jong Il: The Passing of a Tyrant and The Ensuing Power Struggle

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong Il, who died Saturday at the age of 69, was the last leader of a Stalinist state held together by a Stalin-like cult of personality, brutal repression and disposition of rents to supporters. Like Stalin, Kim Jong Il rid the North Korean leadership of any possible independent-thinking rivals. There are no Gorbachevs or Dengs in the wings. But the grooming of his chosen successor, third son Kim Jong Un, remains incomplete, and this throws something of a monkey wrench in succession plans.

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