Kim Jong Il's third son given key defense post

April 26, 2009 09:03


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The third son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has been assigned to the country's all-powerful National Defense Commission, a possible sign that he is being groomed as his father's successor, a news report said Sunday. Kim, who has ruled the nuclear-armed North with absolute authority since his father's death in 1994, has three known sons by two women but has not publicly anointed any of them as his successor. Speculation on who is to succeed the 67-year-old leader has grown since Kim reportedly suffered a stroke in August. On Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported Kim's youngest son, 26-year-old Kim Jong Un, took up a low-level post at the defense commission, several days before the country's rubber-stamp parliament reappointed the senior Kim as the commission's chairman on April 9.

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