A fter suffering a stroke in August, the health of North Korea's leader has reportedly taken a turn for the worse, leaving the future of the regime in question. It's unclear whether Kim Jong ll has appointed a successor. The potential of a collapsed regime has the US and Asian neighbors concerned.
Barrett McCormick, Professor of Political Science at Marquette University, says China and South Korea are concerned with a potential wave of refuges while the US is worried nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands. He says the general consensus is economic reform should happen transitionally rather than the rogue nation spiraling into chaos. Although North Korea has taken "a few steps," the political scientist says little economic reform from communist state has happened
In the meantime, the US, China and South Korea continue to give humanitarian aid to the rogue nation that houses economic desperation and a collapsed agricultural sector which has lead to mass starvation in the better part of a decade.
McCormick says aid is also useful as a bargaining chip to deter development of nuclear weapons.