Efforts begun to hand over North’s Reins

Joong Ang Daily
Yoo Kwang-Jong

Organized efforts are ongoing in North Korea to hand over the hereditary communist regime to a son of current leader Kim Jong-Il, doplomatic sources here with strong connections in Pyongyang said yesterday.

North Korea has reportedly founded a department inside the governing Workers’ Party to promote Kim Jong-chol, the second son of Mr. Kim, as his successor. “When the Workers’ Party reorganized its departments in 2004, two new bureaus were opened under the organizational guidance department,” a source well-informed about Pyongyang affairs said.  “The bureaus handle matters about the regime’s succession.”

According to the source, 10 officials in their 30s work at each bureau, and are in charge of educating Kim Jong-Chol about party governance affairs.  While the two bureaus are publicly under the control of Ri Je-gang, a senior party official, Kim jong Il’s National Defense Commission oversees their operations directly, the source added.

Antoher source said the third generation father-to-son hand-over was seriously resisted in North Korea, but Pyongyang appeared to have decided on its course.  “with the Workers’ Party backing, the succession has become more and more visible,” the source said. 

Kim Jong-chol, 24, studied in Switzerland in the late 1990s.

Meanwhile, South Korea said it was checking a recent German media report that Kim Jong chol attended a presidential dinner for the visiting Chinese leader Hu Jintao in late October.  


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