Special to World Tribune.com
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has decided to pass the mantle of leadership to his second son, Kim Jong-Chol, according to AERA magazine, a publication of Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
AERA quoted an informed official as saying Kim Jong-Il has made up his mind to transfer his power to his 24-year-old son.
North Korea has already begun political indoctrination campaigns during the past several months exalting "the Commander" Kim Jong-Chol as the legitimate successor to his father's personality cult, the weekly said.
Such a campaign would be unimaginable without the direct blessing of the North Korean leadership, it said. "The Commander" could make an appearance at a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the ruling Workers Party on Oct. 10, AERA said.
According to AERA, Kim, who was born on Sept. 25, 1981, studied at an international school in Switzerland. He is such an enthusiastic fan of the U.S. basketball that his doting father built basketball courts at his villas throughout North Korea.
A South Korean government official said North Korea's two-month festival of "Arirang" to mark the Party's founding might be aimed at forging a festive mood ahead of the unveiling of the country's next leader.
"At the end of the event, North Korea may announce its leader Kim Jong-Il's successor-designate," said a Unification Ministry official.
Seoul's intelligence sources also indicated North Korea may announce Kim's successor in the near future. In an apparent bid by Kim to reinforce the country's dynastic rule, he has purged Jang Song-Taek, his brother-in-law and closest aide, according to the sources. Jang had long been believed to be a strong candidate to succeed Kim.
But the Pyongyang regime has recently described Jang as a "tree" that is now cut off, a strong indication that he was officially removed from the power.
Kim Jong-Chol was also competing with his elder half-brother, Kim Jong-Nam, to lead the country. But Jong-Nam has been considered out of contention after Japanese authorities caught him attempting to enter Japan illegally in May 2001, an act that caused Pyongyang severe diplomatic embarrassment. Jong-Nam is the son of Kim Jong-Il's second wife, Song Hae-Rim, who died in a Moscow hospital in 2002.
Jong-Chol, Kim's son from his late third wife, Ko Yong-Hi, recently accompanied his father on his on-spot inspection tours of military units, South Korean officials said.
Cheong Seong-Chang, a North Korea specialist at Seoul's private Sejong Institute, said North Korea's another power succession seems to be near at hand. Kim Jong-Il is likely to announce his successor "within a few years" because he needs time to groom one of his sons as an indisputable power successor, he said.
Fits right in
Oh yes... that name willl do nicely....
When does Team America 2 come out?
One bump Vassily, one bump only please...
We should kill Kimmy-Boy's son like we killed Saddam's. Then we can stick Kimmy-Boy in a cell and watch him wash his undies.