Korea watchers seek clues in funeral parade

Delicate transition underway nuclear-armed North Korea

North Korean mourners lined the streets of Pyongyang on Wednesday, wailing and beating their chests during a carefully choreographed funeral parade for dead dictator Kim Jong Il. Korea watchers eyed the makeup of the parade carefully, seeking clues to the possibly unstable transition underway in the reclusive nuclear power. Kim’s designated successor, his 27-year-old son Kim Jong Un, walked alongside the lead car at times. He was joined by Chang Sung-taek, his uncle, and Ri Yong-ho, the army chief of staff. “If you look at the people beside the hearse, that means very little has changed. My sense is that Chang and Ri, his father’s people, are effectively running the country and grooming the successor,” Michael Breen, Kim Jong Il’s biographer, told the Financial Times. “Substantially speaking, nothing can change for a long time.”

Financial Times
New York Times

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