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Profiles Kim Jong-un Takes Over North Korea Vincent Yu / AP Photo

Kim Jong-un Takes Over North Korea

Meet the man with his finger now on North Korea’s nuclear trigger: Kim Jong-un, the third son of Kim Jong-il. (The first two sons were “too unpredictable or estranged” to take over, according to The New York Times.) Little is known about Kim, not even his age, though he is believed to be in his 20s. Kim was educated briefly in Switzerland, and his father began grooming him for leadership last year. According to the Times, some intelligence officials believe he planned two attacks on South Korea in 2010—a way of proving himself as a military leader. Korean state television is now calling him "the great successor” and called on the Korean people to “faithfully revere respectable comrade Kim Jong-un.” It is possible, however, that Kim will simply act as figurehead for the party; the two days between Kim Jong-il’s death and its announcement suggest leadership struggles behind the scenes.

December 19, 2011 6:12 AM