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Kim Jong Un Cements Power in North Korea's Game of Thrones

  • ‘Bloodline is still the strongest claim to legitimate rule’
  • Dictator’s last surviving brother not seen as a threat
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Kim Jong-Un's Half-Brother Murdered at Malaysia Airport

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While much remains mysterious about the assassination of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother in Malaysia this week, this much is clear: Nearly all of the North Korean dictator’s potential rivals are now dead.

In the nation’s patriarchal dynasty, Kim Jong Nam, 45, represented a possible alternative if elites ever moved to oust Kim Jong Un, 33. The older brother had lived outside North Korea for years, frequenting casinos in Macau and occasionally criticizing his younger sibling’s regime. His only other brother, Kim Jong Chol, 35, isn’t seen as a main threat to usurp power.