North Korea starts leadership succession process

South Korean leader says his country is watching succession process closely.

Seoul: North Korea has officially begun a succession process from leader Kim Jong-Il to his youngest son, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said on Monday.

"It seems quite clear that North Korea has officially entered the third generation of Kim rule," he told foreign correspondents.

The North on Sunday staged a massive military parade attended by Kim and youngest son Jong-Un, who late last month was given key promotions to solidify his status as heir apparent.

Lee said the South is watching the succession process "very closely".

The South`s defence and unification ministers said last week the succession process seems to have started, but Lee had not previously commented directly on the issue.

Kim Jong-Il took over from his own father Kim Il-Sung, who died in 1994.

Bureau Report