The whole world, including the DPRK's sole foreign friend, China, knows that North Korea is an economic catastrophe, and has been for decades. Compared to its brethren in South Korea, the so-called DPRK has about one-twentieth of the per capita GDP, and can only export Scud missiles and heroin (the latter through its misnamed "diplomatic" missions abroad). However, in the surreal scientific Marxist paradise that North Korea claims to be, the genes of the "Great Leader" Kim-il Sung are the most perfect in the universe. Thus, the lifeless corpse of Kim-il Sung remains president of the DPRK forever, while his son Kim Jong-il now runs the country.
Now that Kim Jong-il is in bad health, a successor must be prepared. Once again, scientific Marxism has determined that the best qualified candidate is none other than a member of this same august family. He is Kim Jong-un, the 27 year old son of Kim Jong-il. He has no political experience and no military experience, yet that has not prevented him from being appointed a four-star general in the North Korean Army, and given senior political responsibilities. Very soon, the propaganda campaign will begin, "proving" that Kim Jong-un is, like his father and grandfather before him, an unmatched genius, obviously the most qualified North Korean to run the dilapidated nation.
In the last few days in the DPRK's capital, Pyongyang, Yang Hyong Sop, one of the top officials in the country's ruling communist party, told the Associated Press that, "our people are honored to be led by the great president Kim Il-sung and the great general, Kim Jong-il. Now we also have the honor of being led by General Kim Jong-un." A statement to the foreign press from a senior Party figure along those lines is the surest sign yet that Kim Jong-un is being set on the fast track to follow in his father's and grandfather's shoes as the unchallenged dictator of the impoverished but nuclear-armed rogue state.
As nation builders, the Kim dynasty is a train wreck. But as the managers of a very lucrative family business, they are obviously brilliant. Maybe there is something after all to their title, "Great Leader."