Three days after his death, the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il laid in a palace in Pyongyang, and his son, Kim Jong-un, made his first public appearance as the country's new leader as he paid his respects to his father.
The NY Times reports, "The North’s state television showed Kim Jong-il’s body covered with a red blanket and his head on a white pillow. The coffin was surrounded by white chrysanthemums and Kimjongilia, a flower named after the deceased leader... Streams of weeping soldiers and citizens who filled plazas in Pyongyang to mourn the death of Kim Jong-il and an outpouring of praise for the son provided a firm indication that the official transition was on track. The son was inheriting not only the mantle of power but also a cult of personality from his father: the media began calling him 'another leader sent from the heaven,' a description until now reserved for his father."
However, according to the BBC, "The worry is that Kim Jong-un, less than 30 years old and a complete unknown quantity, may lack the political skill to hang on to power. A power struggle with other family members or the military elite is a worrying possibility, our correspondent says."
Further, there is little intelligence about North Korea, a poor country with millions of starving citizens which has isolated itself from the rest of the world—and built itself into a nuclear state. When Kim Jong-il's death was announced 48 hours after he died, U.S., South Korean and Chinese intelligence were supposedly caught off-guard. An Obama administration official told the Washington Post, "It is scary how little we really know. I don’t think you can overstate the concern." And a former Asia adviser to President Obama told the Times, "A bad scenario is that they go through a smooth transition, and the people keep starving and they continue to develop nuclear weapons. The unstable transition, in which no one is in charge, and in which control of their nuclear program becomes even more opaque, is even worse."