Uncertainties will be faced by North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-Il. Succession of authoritarian regimes usually brings new hope for change to a country. However, this will not happen with the death of Kim Jong Il, because what happens next are anxiousness and uncertainty. The uncertainty emerged that after the death, Kim Jong-Un has been named successor to his father.
Kim Jong-Un certainly needs to do consolidation in the domestic level and proves himself as the true leader of North Korea. "Moreover, considering the age of a leader is crucial in Korean culture. Kim Jong-Un will also face cultural pressure that will become an important impetus in asserting his existence as a legitimate leader," Nur Rachmat Y., a lecturer of Department of International Relations said on Monday (27/12), responding to the recent situation of North Korea.
This particular condition becomes a self-proving means for Kim Jong-Un as a charismatic leader for his people as well as a leader to be respected globally. Perhaps, the fears will lead to violent efforts that can disrupt the stability of regional security. On the other hand, the uncertain security condition in East Asia after the death of Kim Jong Il may become a problem if the consolidation at the domestic level made by Kim Jong-Un failed. "Failed consolidation would have bad consequences because it may cause political chaos in North Korea. If this happens and makes Pyongyang collapsed, most likely the Chinese who had been North Korea’s closest ally will not let this protracted condition that China can be predicted to do intervention to restore the reins of power in North Korea," he explained.
Meanwhile, China’s intervention, on the other hand, will not be tolerated by South Korea and will certainly involve the United States as South Korea’s main ally. As a further result, this condition can increase the tension in East Asia. Fully aware of all the uncertain conditions, it can be understood if South Korea is intensifying defense and security sectors in responding to the death of Kim Jong-Il.
Regime change in North Korea is responded carefully by countries in East Asia, including the United States which has an interest in the region. Therefore, the most likely response from all stakeholders in the region is ‘wait and see’ to the actions of Kim Jong-Un. "In this context, the situation in East Asia during the leadership of Kim Jong Il may be considered to relatively give more guarantee of certainty. This is because the international community has been accustomed to and can predict the policy direction of Kim Jong Il which tends to be controversial and provocative," said one member of researcher team of Cluster Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, IIS UGM.