North Korea steps up succession plans: South Korea spy chief

Last Updated: Friday, June 25, 2010 - 18:55

Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il`s
poor health is driving him to speed up preparations for the
transfer of power to his youngest son Kim Jong-Un, South
Korea`s spy chief says.

Won Sei-Hoon, National Intelligence Service (NIS)
director, told Parliament yesterday that Jong-Un is taking a
greater role in policy-making and accompanying his father on
inspection tours frequently.

Won was speaking to a closed session of the
intelligence committee. His remarks, as relayed by
legislators, were quoted in local media today and confirmed to a news agency by a legislative aide.

An NIS spokesman declined to confirm Won`s quoted

"North Korea is making efforts to establish a system
for hereditary secession at an early date," Won was quoted as

"Kim Jong-Un has been expanding involvement in
policy-making decisions,frequently accompanies the father on
field guidance tours."

North Korea is now propagating poems and songs
glorifying the son and holding public contests for their
recital, he said.

Succession speculation has intensified since Kim
senior, now 68, suffered a stroke in August 2008. He has
recovered enough to return to his work.

"Because of the stroke, the movement of his left leg
and left arm is still unnatural," Won said.

Kim senior also recently resumed drinking alcohol and
smoking, which would add risk factors to his health problems,
the intelligence chief was quoted as saying.


First Published: Friday, June 25, 2010 - 18:55
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