Sunday, February 25, 2024

Clinton says North Korean leadership uncertain

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday said that North Korea’s leadership situation is uncertain and the United States is worried the Stalinist country may soon face a succession crisis to replace dictator Kim Jong Il.
Clinton said the Obama administration is deeply concerned that a potential change in Pyongyang’s ruling structure could raise already heightened tensions between North Korea and its neighbours as potential successors to Kim jockey for position and power.
Her comments, made to reporters during a flight to South Korea from Indonesia, were a rare if not unprecedented public acknowledgment from a senior US official that the secretive nation may be preparing for a leadership change following reports that Kim suffered a stroke last year.
Clinton said the South Koreans are particularly worried “about what’s up in North Korea, what the succession could be, what it means for them, and they are looking for us to use our best efforts to try to get the agenda of denuclearization and nonproliferation back in gear.”
“Everybody is trying to sort of read the tea leaves as to what is happening and what is likely to occur, and there is a lot of guessing going on,” Clinton said, referring to talks between Chinese, South Korean, Japanese and US officials about the situation in the North.

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