The death of Kim Jong il is an event which may have far reaching repercussions on the world . Kim Jong il had succeeded his father Kim il Sung as the head of North Korea in 1994 and ruled the so called communist state as its head and extending the dictatorship which his father originated. Under their collective rule for over six decades, North Korea has largely been a closed and impoverished society branded as a rogue state by the USA and the west but also attained nuclear capabilities . But the help and succour received from China has helped it to pull through as it has been historically a strategic buffer to China against the US influence emanating from South Korea.
The son, Kim Jong-un is tipped to takeover as the new head of state , thus perpetuating the dynastic rule . But the question which is being raised is whether he will be able to retain his hold on the military and ruling elite of the country and fend off the power struggle within. With any signs of instability, Korea will again become a flashpoint for international conflict with the growing might of China pitted against the US efforts to take advantage of any chink in its armour. The thought of an instable nuclear Korea with undisclosed amount of warheads at its disposal is alarming. Added to the fact is the scope of these nuclear devices being sold or finding its way to terrorist organisations or adventurous states .
From history it is often observed that the death of a strong autocratic leader of a country under a long spell of dictatorship or one-party rule unleashes forces beyond the control of those in power and a political reorganization takes place, often accompanied with civil unrest and strife. A recent example has been erstwhile Yugoslavia under Tito and Soviet Union after the death of Brezhnev / Cherenenko. Therefore , the developments in Korea will be keenly monitored for its geo-political ramifications which will also affect , inter-alia, the currency movements in Asia.
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