A World Without Kim

KCNA / REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, center, visits a military unit at an undisclosed location in North Korea

Every major intelligence agency across the world does the exercise. Call it the "hit by a bus" scenario. If leader X of important/sensitive/unstable country Y drops dead tomorrow, what happens? Who takes over? How might that change things? For some countries, the exercise is simple. For others, it's murky and complicated. Then there's North Korea.

Governments in Washington, Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo are now running this drill, because anonymous intelligence sources are saying Kim Jong Il, the 66-year-old dictator in Pyongyang, is ill. He might even have had a stroke, the reports...

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