Recently, a state-backed satellite TV channel’s vice director, who is the niece of the Chinese foreign minister had claimed that the Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un is dead.   

The news started doing the rounds after apparently the North-Korean leader had undergone heart surgery and was in “grave danger.” 

But the speculation fueled up after he skipped an April 15 commemoration of the birthday of Kim Il Sung, his grandfather and North Korea’s founder. 

NY Times

But, if the rumours are true, what will happen after Kim Jong-un dies? 

1. North Korea has been ruled by the same family for seven decades. So, in theory, the possibility of Kim’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, inheriting power is the best bet. Cho Han-bum of the Korea Institute for National Unification said, 

Kim Yo Jong will be for the time being the main power base with control of the organisation and guidance department, the judiciary and public security 

She is also the vice director of the ruling Workers’ Party’s powerful Central Committee but unofficially as her brother’s chief of staff. Earlier this month, she was named an alternate member of the ruling Workers’ Party’s powerful Central Committee Politburo. 


2. Kim has another older brother, Kim Jong-chul. But he has never been considered as a ruler since he is known for his ‘soft personality’ and loves guitars more than politics. But due to the royal blood and the fact that he is male, he can be next in line. 


3. Another candidate is the leader’s current No 2, Choe Ryong-hae who is known to be Kim’s ‘go-to person’. 

Even though he lacks the all-important bloodline, there is a possibility of a collective leadership incorporating both royal family members and loyal senior figures.  


4. Kim is thought to have three children. But his oldest son was born in 2010. So, if by chance he inherits the power, he’ll have to rule under some form of regent until they come of age. 

News Week

Even though news about Kim-Jong-un’s health is still quite unclear. If the rumours turn into reality, this might be the future of North Korea.