Kim Jong Il Promotes Youngest Son, His Likely Successor

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Photo: AFP

The 69-year-old North Korean leader appointed his third son, the Michael Jordan-loving, "heavy drinker" Kim Jong Eun, as well as his daughter, Kim Kyong Hui, as senior generals in the country’s army. The announcement comes hours before the biggest meeting of the Workers’ Party in 30 years, an event that many experts believe will “signal the beginning of a leadership change.” It has been widely suspected that Kim Jong Il, who is believed to be in deteriorating physical shape, will be handing over control to Kim Jong Eun, as the leader is said to favor “his youngest son more than his two other sons as a potential successor.” However, the youngest son is believed to be only about 27 years old, leading some to speculate the simultaneous promotion of Kim Kyong Hui means she might take over if Kim Jong Eun isn’t prepared. Family dinners at the Kim household must be pretty awkward these days.

Korea's Kim Elevates Son [WSJ]