Kim Jong-un is the third leader of North Korea, from the only family to lead that country since it was formed in 1948 as a Stalinist prototype; founded by his grandfather, Kim il-Sung, (1948-1994) and followed by his father Kim Jong-il, (1994-2011)
It’s as close to a royal dynasty as you can have in the communist world.
And certain laws of royals apply.
Think of Edward I, Longshanks, who was the grandson of King John, of Robin Hood and Magna Carta fame, who was the son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, of Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn fame. Both Henry II and Edward I are considered two of England’s greatest kings, but they sired two of England’s most disliked kings, the sniveling weenie back-stabbing John and Edward II, son of Longshanks, who, if you saw “Braveheart” you know was a gay man who, because he had to keep the noble line going, married a French noble woman anyway, who did her royal duty anyway, and had children by him anyway, one of whom, Edward III, eventually deposed him, and probably had him killed, simply because he couldn’t put that gay Gaveston lover of his out of his life. Christopher Marlowe even wrote a play about it once it was a safe enough distance away from the Plantagenet line to make fun of one its royal members.
For modern context, all this English drama occurred during the Middle Ages, 13th and early 14th centuries, when feudalism was more in flower than knighthood…and yet, the poor serfs of England lived better than have the majority of people of North Korea since the Stalinist Kim dynasty was sprung on them in 1948.
Keep that in mind, for it means that one of the key elements of dynastic survival for the North Korean line, loyalty, is missing.
Since the Normans invaded England in 1066 there have been only six (6) royal dynasties (some argue five, others argue seven.) Almost a thousand years. The Chinese had many more, beginning around 1600 BC, their dynasties running 3500 years. Most of China’s dynasties lasted over 250 years, which are considered good runs, cementing in China the notion of the palace court as the central focus of society for three millennia, until the early 20th Century.
Over the same period Korea was divided by several smaller royal lines. Korea had only a brief stab at unified royal government just before the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) in which both China and Russia lost their power in the region to Japan[…]