North Korea silence on Kim’s health raises succession speculation

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at parade participants at the Kim Il Sung Square on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans celebrated the country's newly completed ruling-party congress with a massive civilian parade featuring floats bearing patriotic slogans and marchers with flags and pompoms. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Kim Jong Un’s disappearance from the public eye is raising speculation about not only his health but also about who’s next in line to run North Korea if anything happens to the 36-year-old leader.

Some experts say his sister and close associate Kim Yo Jong is most likely since North Korea has been ruled by the Kim family for seven decades.

But others say a collective leadership is possible because of North Korea’s deeply patriarchal society.

Some believe that could eventually plunge North Korea into chaos since its founding mythology centers the right to rule around the Kim bloodline.

On Saturday, several news organizations, including TMZ, quoted media outlets in China and Japan which reported that North Korea’s Supreme Leader/dictator had reportedly died, or was on his death bed with no hope for recuperation.

The Associated Press contributed to this story


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