Kim Jong-Il Names Youngest Son as Successor: Reports

Swiss-educated Jong-Un, about 25, said to be thoughtful, intelligent
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2009 2:07 PM CST
Kim Jong-Il Names Youngest Son as Successor: Reports
In this image from TV, North Korean participants stand by portraits of former leader Kim Il Sung, left, and his son and current leader Kim Jong Il during a rally in Pyongyang, Jan. 5, 2009.   (AP Photo)

Kim Jong-Il has picked his third—and, at about 25, thought to be his youngest—son, Jong-Un, as his successor in North Korea, Reuters reports. Though it has yet to be confirmed, officials said they have been instructed to spread the message, possibly to quell anxiety over who would lead if Kim, 66 and recovering from an undisclosed illness, were to become unable.

Kim Jong-Un was educated in Switzerland and is believed to be the most capable of Kim’s sons. His youth presents something of an issue in a culture that has a strong tradition of seniority, but former South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung said that the successor would probably become a symbolic leader advised by a cabinet of older military and party officials. (More North Korea stories.)

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