The third and youngest son of Kim Jong-il, the former dictatorial leader of North Korea, is set to take charge of the country's nuclear weapons, Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin told the National Assembly's Defense Committee, last week.
It also seems that Kim Jong-un has the final say on nuclear weapons considering that the power is being handed over to him now, Kwan Jin was quoted as saying by North Korean media.
The reclusive state of North Korea is the world's eighth nuclear power, which conducted its first underground nuclear weapons test in October 2006. It was reported in April 2009 that the troubled Asian nation has become a fully fledged nuclear power, which was seconded by the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) then-Director General Mohamed El-Baradei. However, North Korea's ability to deliver an operational nuclear weapon remains a debatable topic even now.
The uncertainty regarding who would assume the command for military and nuclear operations following Kim Jong-il's death has seemingly ended; however, political pundits are apprehensive of the untrained, 20-something (born in 1983 or 1984) Jong Un's expertise and ability to competently manage weapons of mass destruction.
According to Korean media, Jong Un may only be a nominal vice chairman of the military commission, appointed alongside Ri Yong Ho, the chief of General Staff.
However, unconfirmed South Korean reports say that the commission collectively controls the nuclear weapons, which includes top officials of North Korean military.
Even though the power structure post-Jong-il remains unclear, Korean media speculates that Yong Ho's support for Jong Un is critical, due to the military-first policy of the authoritarian regime.
Apart from its plutonium and enriched uranium programs, North Korea also possesses a substantial arsenal of chemical and biological weapons.