The view that North Korea is likely to collapse after the all-powerful Kim Jong-il dies is a reflection of wishful thinking by some countries, rather than a reflection of North Korean reality, Chinese scholars argue.
Although Kim is a very important figure in North Korea ― probably the most important ― nonetheless the scholars point out that an internal bloody power struggle is unlikely in the post-Kim era by military generals because the “ruling class” in North Korea is well aware that if they destroy each other, it will eventually destroy the world’s most isolated nation.
This consciousness of “shared destiny,” they argue, will unite the seasoned North Korean cadre to ensure the stability of North Korea in the post-Kim era.
Amid news reports of Kim’s critical illness, speculation and theorizing has been in full swing to the obvious “what’s next?”
That is what is going to happen to North Korea in case the “Dear Leader” dies. Pundits in South Korea, America and Japan, for example, have been pushing predictions on the “imminent death” of, or a permanently impaired Kim, who may not be in full charge of running the country. With that, they have been paying attention to likely scenarios in the post-Kim era. Many of them paint a gloomy picture. Namely, North Korea is a country run by one dictator and his death would therefore result in a drastic change in the world’s most isolated state, even its collapse.