Kim Jong-un death risks North Korea ‘explosion’ against neighbouring states, warns expert

US administration officials have warned that the worst-case scenario that accompanies Kim Jong-un’s death is state collapse. Huge numbers of people in the state facing starvation could flee across the border to China resulting in a refugee crisis. Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation, spoke to Fox News about what he foresaw for the state if reports of the leader’s death or ill health turned out to be true.

He said: “There are a lot of worst-case scenarios if there is a regime collapse and a struggle for power.

“There could be unknown actions by military factions warring against each other.

“There is a concern that there could be an explosion in the sense that North Korea lashes out against its neighbours.

“Or an implosion with the regime collapse and instability.”

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Mr Klingner continued: “That said, we were equally concerned during the two previous successions of the father and the grandfather when they passed away.

“The system worked, there was a maintaining of stability.

“So I think it’s more likely that the regime will maintain itself.

“We’ve heard everything from he’s dead to he’s brain dead.”

The expert added: “US intelligence said that he was seen walking around a port city several days ago.

“He may have evacuated himself there simply to avoid being infected by COVID.

“As was the case when his father passed away, there’s no formal succession plan in the North Korean constitution.”

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Mr Klingner told Fox: “We don’t know if they have something behind the scenes.

“So right now all of us are speculating who the next leader might be.

“There’s not an obvious choice as to when his father died and Kim Jong-Un had been groomed for about three years and anointed as the next leader.

“We’re speculating that his sister may be the next leader.

“Up until a couple of years ago, everyone would have thought that a strict Korean wouldn’t allow a woman leader but in the last couple of years she’s gained power and authority.”

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