- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
All the usual caveats on North Korean regime speculation apply, but some analysts seem to be suggesting that North Korea artillery assault on a South Korean island this morning may have been ordered by heir apparent Kim Jong Un or at least related to his succession. The Sydney Morning Herald writes:
NORTH KOREA has burnished the leadership credentials of its 26-year-old dictator-in-waiting with a deadly artillery attack on South Korean territory, causing its neighbour to return fire and scramble F-16 fighters.
Two South Korean marines died, and at least 12 were wounded. There were reports of civilian injuries and houses were set ablaze as scores of shells fell on Yeonpyeong island.
A North Korea expert at Beijing’s Central Party School, Zhang Liangui, told the Herald that Kim Jong-un was deliberately destabilising the environment in order to mobilise the military and consolidate his power. […]
Chinese North Korea specialists believe the brinkmanship is designed to mobilise the country around the anointed successor of Kim Jong-il, his son Kim Jong-un.
Time’s Bill Powell adds: