THE KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY, the official state news agency of North Korea, has said that ailing leader Kim Jong-il has made a new senior Army title for his youngest son, Jong-un.
The agency said that Jong-un, as well as Jong-il’s sister Kyong-hui, as Generals in appointments – indicating that the 69-year-old is on the verge of stepping down for good.
The announcement comes as the Workers Party – the only legal party of the country – held its first general congress since 1980, a meeting at which Kim Jong-il was marked as the heir to his own father, Kim Il-sung, who in theory remains the country’s leader as ‘eternal president’.
Although the youngest of Kim’s three sons, Jong-un is perceived as being the most likely to take the reins of the state after the oldest, Jong-nam, fell out of favour when being caught trying to enter Japan on a fake passport in 2001.
Meanwhile the middle son, Jong-chui, is said to be perceived as “like a little girl” by his father, according to the memoirs of Jong-il’s personal sushi chef.
Like his father (‘The General’) and grandfather (‘Great Leader’) before him, Jong-un has also been given a formal honorific title: that of Brilliant Comrade.
The congress continues; it is considered likely that Jong-un will shuffle some of the country’s major roles to try and form the country in his own image, if Jong-un is not himself given more titles.
The Australian reported that the country’s military had been prepared for a massive parade, possibly to present the country’s heir apparent to the general population.