As has been noticed elsewhere, while your host was chewing up asphalt hither and yon, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il has gone to his reward – I doubt he’ll be so “ronery” in hell – leaving his twenty-something third son, Kim Jong Eun as a successor:
Until late last year, the younger Kim had lived his life almost entirely behind a wall of privacy. But as his father struggled with his health, he accelerated a controversial power transfer and, in late September 2010, named Kim Jong Eun to several top military and political posts. This year, when the elder Kim made his customary visits to military camps and factories across the country, his son often accompanied him – not as an equal, but as a trainee.
One concern, described by numerous Korean security experts, is that the younger Kim could face opposition from more senior North Korean officials, including Jang Song Thaek, who had been acting as a caretaker for the transition. In recent years, Kim Jong Il tried to minimize the power of other older party members, often demoting them – sometimes even banishing them to the countryside – so they wouldn’t form allies of their own.
In Japan, the government called a crisis security meeting. South Korea has placed its front line troops on enhanced alert. And the rest of the world strains to see behind the curtains of the hermit kingdom.
Update: Citizens of Pyongyang bitterly weeping at their loss. It’s so weird that it’s scary.