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If Kim Jong Un dies, expect nuclear weapons provocation to ramp up

US should end cycle of blackmail by ignoring successor's saber-rattling

| North Korea
The testing of a rocket launcher in North Korea, undated photo released on Mar. 28 by Korean Central News Agency: the nuclear deterrent has been portrayed as a symbol of national achievement.   © KCNA/Reuters

Soo Kim is a policy analyst at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and former CIA analyst.

With rumors swirling that Kim Jong Un has suffered a health crisis, some are already asking who might succeed him as leader of North Korea. Kim's younger sister Kim Yo Jong, his estranged uncle Kim Pyong-il or even a military junta have been mentioned as possibilities.

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