Strange things are afoot in North Korea.
Of course, strange things are always afoot in North Korea.
The country, as the world’s most secretive sovereign enclave outside of North Sentinel Island, has long been a source for questionable news internationally, and the latest potential development is a doozy.
Apparently, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, reportedly between 36 and 38 years of age, has gone missing. Last seen in public on April 11, he was absent for the country’s most important Day of the Sun national holiday, which celebrates the country’s founder – and Kim’s grandfather – Kim Il Sung.
Some reports claim that Kim is suffering from complications arising from recent heart surgery, while South Korea has reported that there are “no unusual signs detected.” In his ever his provocative way, US President Donald Trump claims to know some details, but he’s refusing to let the cat out of the bag about his BFF.
Of course, with Kim’s whereabouts unknown – and his history of weeks-long disappearances – the mystery surrounding Kim’s actual health (and whether or not he’s even still alive) has been picking up steam on the global news wire.
And that, of course, means that it’s picking up steam on the boards at offshore Vegas election betting sites.
Bovada, the leading political betting operator on the Internet, already has odds up for who will succeed Kim as the country’s new ruler:
Who Will Replace Kim Jong-un As Supreme Leader Of North Korea?
- Kim Yo Jong (Sister) -135
- Kim Pyong Il (Younger Half-Brother) +160
- Choe Ryong Hae (Party Elder) +900
- Pak Pong Ju (Party Elder) +1000
- Kim Jong Chol (Older Brother) +1300
- Any One Of Kim Jung Un’s Offspring +1800
- Kim Kyong Hui (Aunt) +3300
While these could all be premature if Kim is simply in isolation due to coronavirus or is otherwise recovering from surgery or another medical issue (as was the case in 2014 when he went six weeks without being seen, leading to similar speculation), they’re also a bit surprising for another reason: The obvious favorite isn’t much of one.
For bettors, this means that a payout on Kim Yo Jong, Kim’s 32-year-old sister, is probably as good as it’s going to get, and you should sign up and wager ASAP.
There appears to be no North Korean animus against a female leader, and Yo Jong has lately been granted a much larger role in the running of the country under her brother’s leadership.
Additionally, the two are said to be extremely close, as she’s survived many of the alleged familial purges that Kim has instituted in his nine years at the helm.
Per the New York Post, the National Assembly Research Service – a South Korean think tank – has released a report assessing Yo Jong’s rising status in the famously isolated nation:
“From early this year, Yo-jong has received the spotlight for active roles, including announcing official messages to South Korea and the US, standing in for Jong-un. …
“As an individual political figure, she has virtually taken on the role of the party’s center to undertake the responsibility of the party’s monolithic leadership system.”
The term “party center” has historically been used to designate the heir apparent, as both Kim and his father, Kim Jong Il, were labeled as such in the run-ups to their respective takeovers.
For those looking to wager on the North Korean line of succession, this should be a major clue, and it’s one of the reasons why Yo Jong’s odds seem remarkably slim given the other options on the board. Despite not being a monarchy in name, NK operates like one, and the founder’s bloodline is all-important.
In this context, the only other rational candidate for Supreme Leader in the nation is Kim Jong Chol. However, Jong Chol was already once passed over for succession by his late father, largely due to his reputation. According to Kim Jong Il’s sushi chef, Jong Chol was “no good because he is like a little girl.”
And now, to add insult to injury, a literal “little girl” – who is reputed to be more like a cutthroat statesman in the old mold, and thus quite good indeed – could be next in line to lead.
Again, if you want to get in while the getting’s good, now’s the time to head over to any reputable political sportsbook at get your wagers in on this political debutante.
Of course, if international politics aren’t your thing, you can always bet on the 2020 US Presidential election, Joe Biden’s Democratic nomination odds, and even props like debate lines and impeachment odds (which are making a yuge comeback thanks to hyperbolic media coverage of Trump’s so-called “coronavirus response failures”).